Only “around” 40,000 tickets were sold as of Tuesday, with “very few” purchased by Wisconsin fans, Brandt said. AT&T Stadium, home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, seats 85,000 spectators.
A number of factors could be at play for slow ticket sales. Badgers fans face a much longer trip than Crimson Tide fans, and both teams are expected to contend for their respective conference championships. The Big Ten plays its title game in Indianapolis, while the SEC plays its in Atlanta. Fan bases could elect to wait to see how the season plays out before making plans for a neutral-site game.
Alabama also opened last season with a neutral-site game against West Virginia in Atlanta. The Tide later played in the SEC Championship Game in the Georgia Dome there and faced Ohio State in the College Football Playoff semifinals in New Orleans. Wisconsin opened last season against LSU in Houston, and faced Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship Game and Auburn in the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Fla.
Alabama opened the season No. 5 in Sports Illustrated’s preseason Top 25, and No. 3 in both the Amway Coaches Poll and AP Top 25 poll.
Wisconsin begins No. 24 by SI, No. 18 in the Amway Coaches Poll and No. 20 by the AP.
- Mike Fiammetta