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Northwestern-Ohio State game tears up ticket resale market

Some are calling it one of the most anticipated games ever in Evanston, and ticket sales for Northwestern-Ohio State are living up to the hype.

The school says tickets have sold out for Saturday’s homecoming game — which will be featured on ESPN’s “College GameDay” — forcing many to turn to the resale market, where most of the ticket prices have eclipsed those for the Blackhawks game on the same night.

On StubHub, the cheapest seats were going for nearly $200 on Thursday night, with seats on the 50-yard line on the Northwestern sideline going for around $300.

“It’s our highest-selling Northwestern home game ever,” says Shannon Barbara, spokeswoman for the online ticket reseller.

By comparison, similar seats were going for $5 and under for the team’s first two home games at Ryan Field, versus Syracuse and Maine, respectively.

The median price on Vivid Seats is $235, with an average just north of $260. “Northwestern is the only major college football program in Chicago, and this is the first time they’ve been ranked in the top 15 since the Gary Barnett era in the mid-’90s,” says Vivid Seats co-founder Eric Vassilatos.

It was a similar story over on eBay, with seats going for as much as $890 a pop with the “buy it now” option.

On the national level, demand for Saturday night’s game is eclipsed only by the Arizona State-Notre Dame clash at AT&T Stadium, the Dallas Cowboys home stadium in Arlington, Texas, Barbara says.

She declined to give exact sales figures but said fans would be able to purchase tickets until game time.

So is the trend of people paying more to see Northwestern football sustainable?

“Considering the size of the Chicago market compared to the capacity of Ryan Field, this level of interest and rise in prices is not surprising, especially given the team’s performance,” Vassilatos says. “And if they win, it should continue.”

ABOVE: Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter. AP photo.