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Get-in price for Alabama-Clemson title game ticket soars past $1,000

One would think a rematch of a national title game would mean a cheaper ticket. Think again.

The price to get in the door Monday for the game in Tampa between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Clemson Tigers reached and surpassed $1,000 on Wednesday afternoon on resale sites.

A good lower-level seat could cost $1,000 more, with the Clemson side averaging a 20 to 40 percent increase over the Alabama side of the stadium, depending on the location.

As of 3 p.m. ET on Wednesday, the average sold price of a ticket to this year's game on StubHub was $978, easily doubling the average price paid for last year's College Football Playoff title game between the two teams ($425).

While there is certainly some fatigue from the Alabama side, as the team is playing in its fifth title game in seven years, it is made up for because demand on the Clemson side has not waned.

Jesse Lawrence, CEO of Ticket IQ, a ticket search engine and aggregator, said that the distance from the universities to the title site, Tampa's Raymond James Stadium, is a big factor.

"For the first time in a while, both schools can drive to the game," Lawrence said.

The average distance between the universities in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and Clemson, South Carolina, and the game site this year, is 579 miles. The distances for the previous four title games have averaged more than 1,000 miles.

The most expensive title games were in 2011, when prices rose to $5,000 a ticket after brokers sold the game short and in 2012 when Alabama played LSU in New Orleans (StubHub average was $1,528 that year).

"Even though the game is a repeat from last year, I think the market is seeing a lot of demand from Clemson," said Scott Jernigan, senior vice president at PrimeSport, which is the official travel provider for both teams and is selling both travel and high-end ticket packages.

Stats from StubHub confirm that Clemson fans are buying more. StubHub spokesman Glenn Lehrman said 27 percent of sales so far are coming from people with South Carolina addresses versus only 12 percent from Alabama.

What remains to be seen is how the influx of tickets that are being given to season-ticket holders of both schools within the next 24 hours will affect the market. One thing is for sure: Nothing is going to make this game cheap.