How I Found Amazing Sugar Bowl Tickets

Getting these tickets was no accident. As soon as it was announced that Ohio State would be playing Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, I knew I had to go to New Orleans. I didn’t plan on sitting in the nosebleeds either. No, this type of game deserved these type of seats. How did I find them you ask? Surely I must have spent a fortune. Think again, my friend! Instead, I let the computers do their magic for me.

The ticket marketplace is pretty opaque, and finding a good deal can feel like guesswork. Thankfully, SeatGeek is a service that aggregates the available tickets for all kinds of events, and also applies some fancy logic to tell you which tickets are actually good deals. In a short time window, their logic is often all the information I need to make a ticket buying decision.

However, the stakes were higher for the Sugar Bowl and I had a large window of time to make a buying decision. By collecting ticket data over time, I could see if there were any trends that I include in my decision making process. I collected data from SeatGeek for almost a month and visualized it a few different ways using the Highcharts javascript library.

I visualized this data in two ways. The first is illustrated below. The graphic shows how the average price moved over time and in relation to the volume of tickets available. Pretty clearly we can see when new tickets entered the marketplace, as well as a pattern of drastic decreased availability in the days closest to the game.

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The second visualization is a scatter plot showing a snapshot of all of the tickets available.


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