Red River Rivalry’s popularity not surprising

Lazaro Hernandez

UT’s upcoming game against the University of Oklahoma, a rivalry long-recognized by UT fans as one of the fiercest face-offs in college football, has been named the nation’s most popular game this season by an Austin-based online ticket marketplace.

TicketCity Inc. released a list Friday ranking the UT’s Oct. 13 game against the Oklahoma Sooners as the most popular football game of the current season. The list uses a game’s individual ticket sales, prices, customer inquiries and searches on to determine the rankings, which update each week. Despite the popularity of the matchup, UT-Austin officials said revenue for the University is greatly limited by the amount of seats available at the stadium, half of which belong to OU.

“We don’t have nearly as many tickets to sell for that game as we do for our home game, so the revenue isn’t as much,” Mark Harrison, assistant athletics director for ticket operations, said. “Each school gets just over 46,000 seats.”

Harrison said the match’s widespread popularity comes as no surprise to the University.

“OU and Texas are two of the traditional football powers, and most football fans consider this one a marquee matchup every year,” he said. “The great location and the Texas State Fair create a very unique atmosphere for college football and there is just a lot of excitement from our fans who always look forward to this game.”

Since the Longhorns and Sooners first met on the football field, the games have created what many consider one of the most prominent rivalries in college football history. Today, more than 92,000 people attend the game each year, filling up the Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas to its maximum capacity.

Joaquin McHale, Texas Box Office sales associate, said Red River Rivalry passes available to football season ticket holders have been sold out since July 12.

“As far as students go, a little less than half of those who request a ticket are not able to get one,” McHale said. “It is definitely the most popular game out of all the Texas games, definitely the most demanded.”

Communication sciences and disorders freshman Noah Solis attended the game last year after buying his ticket four months in advance. He said the game’s excitement and unpredictability have led to its popularity.

“It has been around for so many years. When you really think of rivalries, the first one that comes to mind to any Texas fan is Oklahoma,” he said. “You think about the state of the fans that are involved from both sides and you just can’t help but get excited for the game.”

Printed on September 5, 2012 as: "Texas, Oklahoma game ranks nation's most popular for fall"