With 85,000-plus fans ready to pass through the gates of Memorial Stadium seven times this season, Nebraska football tickets are, as always, a valuable commodity.
An NCAA record 304 consecutive sellout crowds make Nebraska football tickets hard to come by, especially when the Huskers are ranked in the Top 10 of almost every major preseason 2010 poll.
So with the season sold out, what do true Nebraska fans do if they want to experience a Husker game?
"We are now entering the secondary market of Nebraska ticket sales," said Angela Christ-Zemunski, a Nebraska Athletics Ticket Office associate who is in her fourth year at NU after spending 21 years as a customer service agent, trainer, supervisor and secretary for a major airline.
A mother of four, Christ-Zemunski knows how hectic a household can get when families are trying to decide who can and who can't go to any particular game.
That's why she has worked diligently to help launch Husker Ticket Marketplace, a site that gives Nebraska Athletic Boosters free membership to register their ticket accounts and charges other ticketholders a $25 annual fee for the same Marketplace opportunity. Tickets will be sent to users' email addresses, so they can be printed at home. Ticket Marketplace users also will receive email reminders before events for which they have purchased tickets.
Fully aware that Nebraska fans have used a variety of well-known secondary markets to buy Husker tickets at increased prices, Holly Adam, Nebraska's Assistant Athletic Director for Ticketing, wanted a better solution for NU donors and season ticketholders - an electronic place they could go to list their unused tickets at face value.
"The difference between us being in the secondary ticket market and all others is we endorse our version, and we stand behind it," Christ-Zemunski said. "If there's a problem or issue with any transaction, we can remedy the situation almost immediately."
Today, Husker Ticket Marketplace has two sets of two tickets for sale to Nebraska's season opener against Western Kentucky. A set of two tickets to the Idaho game posted Tuesday were sold the same day. Twelve tickets were purchased on the site before that. As donors and season ticketholders become more familiar with the site, ticket opportunities are likely to increase.
"We guarantee tickets purchased directly from Husker Ticket Marketplace because we can and we do protect every original transaction, based on our ability to verify the identity of buyers and sellers," Christ-Zemunski said. "For those who buy that same ticket from an unknown seller above face value, it becomes a case of buyer beware - just like it is with all other secondary transactions."
Major college ticket offices are also fully aware that football ticket prices can go through the roof for high-demand games on major ticket broker sites.
That market is not the intent of or the purpose for Husker Ticket Marketplace. "We make it easy for donors and season ticketholders to get their unused tickets into the hands of other loyal Nebraska fans," Christ-Zemunski said. "We can't take sold tickets back and resell them or even distribute them for free, so this Marketplace is a great place for those unused tickets. For us, it's easy to facilitate this service, and for our fans, it's a safe way to search for and buy tickets."