Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama’s visit to Ole Miss sparks ticket prices and lowers hotel vacancies

In what may be considered the biggest matchup in the Southeastern Conference so far this season, Ole Miss is set to host Alabama at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium this Saturday. Both teams enter Week 6 of the college football season with flawless 4-0 records, but one will be left with its first loss – an ever-important conference defeat – by the end of Saturday night in Oxford. The showdown between the two SEC powerhouses will be the most expensive remaining home game on the Ole Miss football schedule, with secondary market ticket prices nearing the $300 average.

According to TiqIQ, the average price for Ole Miss vs Alabama football tickets for Saturday’s game is $293.57 on the secondary market, over 173% above the season average of $107.25 for Mississippi football tickets at home in 2014. The get-in price for the game starts at $173, marking a 61.3% premium over the season average for just the game’s cheapest ticket. Alabama will undoubtedly be Ole Miss’ toughest competition yet, and secondary prices have already shown that the No. 3 ranked team in college football carries a high premium for tickets on the road as well. Alabama’s most expensive road game on its remaining schedule will be against LSU, however, with the secondary market average currently listed at $543.54.

While hopeful fans still searching for tickets will pay big at the booth when searching the secondary market, they will also find a limited number of hotels available in the general vicinity of the stadium. According to Priceline, all four-star hotels are sold out and only three three-star hotels still hold vacancy. These hotels are the Holiday Inn Batesville, which lists a $365/night fee, the Courtyard Memphis Collierville, priced at $139/night, and the Motel 6 in Tupelo, which runs a $54/night price. 16 two-star hotels are left, ranging in rates from $44-$175/night this weekend. Proximity is key in the ranging price; the closer the hotel is to Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, the more expensive its rate will be.

Saturday’s game will mark Mississippi’s third consecutive home game after cruising to easy victories against Louisiana-Lafayette and Memphis over the last two weekends. The Rebels’ first real taste of top-tier football will happen when Alabama comes to town on Saturday, however. Last season, the two teams met at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa in Week 5 and the Crimson Tide shut out the Rebels 25-0 en route to their fourth-straight win of the season. Alabama will look to do the same again this weekend but its offense will be tested by a surging Ole Miss defense that ranks fourth in the country in total defense, allowing just 248 yards/game.

With secondary ticket prices flirting with the $300 mark and some hotel prices even exceeding it, the expectation and excitement around Saturday’s game will certainly generate a positive economic effect in surrounding areas. Ole Miss fans have waited long enough for their stab at Alabama and with the day drawing closer to battle the Crimson Tide at home, high prices come secondary to the opportunity of witnessing a Rebels win firsthand this weekend.