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Demand for tickets to see Ohio State in Texas Cotton Bowl seems relatively low

Ohio State football players celebrate
Barry Reeger
Ohio State defensive end J.T. Tuimoloau (44) celebrates with his teammates Jack Sawyer (33), Zach Harrison (9) and Lathan Ransom (12) after returning an interception for a touchdown during the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game against Penn State, on Oct. 29, 2022, in State College, Pa.

Next Friday, the Buckeyes will take on No. 9 Missouri in the 88th Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

It’s the Buckeyes’ third appearance in the Cotton Bowl and the first since 2017, but interest in traveling to the game appears to be low.

Columbus travel agency Reynolds Travel is offering a three-night trip package for the Cotton Bowl, but owner Ike Reynolds says interest in the event, “has not been good.”

Reynolds thinks less people want to travel for the game because of Ohio State's loss to Michigan and because players can opt out of the game.

“People were not sure, you know, what players were going to be playing in the game. And so, with that in mind, what chances do they have on winning the game without, you know, the starting 22 players,” Reynolds said.

Many OSU players have also entered the transfer portal, including starting quarterback Kyle McCord.

Reynolds says he's booked 300 people for certain bowl games, but this time, he’ll have less than 40 people.

OSU Associate Sports Information Director Jerry Emig said with tickets sold and team guests, the Buckeyes have used 6,500, or just over half, of their allotted 12,500 tickets. Missouri was allotted the same number of tickets.

Online retailer SeatGeek still has many resale tickets available from $90 to $700. The game kicks off at 8 p.m. Dec. 29.

The Cotton Bowl will be Ohio State’s 55th post-season bowl game appearance.

Last year, the Buckeyes played in the Peach Bowl on New Year’s Eve, when they lost to Georgia after missing a would-be game winning field goal in the final seconds of the game.

Reynolds said relatively few people booked with him for that bowl game as well. It was a playoff game, which tend to be more popular, but Reynolds believes people were waiting to see if the Buckeyes would make it further.

Allie Vugrincic has been a radio reporter at WOSU 89.7 NPR News since March 2023.