Tech was obligated to pay the Tampa Bay Sports Commission for 10,000 tickets to the game but has only sold about 3,000 of them.
Virginia Tech assistant athletic director Sandy Smith said Tuesday that ticket sales have been slower than last year, when the game was held in Jacksonville, Fla.
Sales "are not as good as we would like," Smith said. "All the ticket people throughout the conference looked at it -- even the ones [at schools] in Florida -- as being, because of the economy, a tough sell."
Many Tech fans interviewed at last weekend's win over Virginia said they would not be attending the title game in Tampa and would instead save their money for the upcoming bowl game.
"The economy's too bad," Bob Rue of Richmond said. "Bowl games are more fun -- a lot more stuff to do."
Tech will likely take an even bigger financial bath on ticket sales to the game than it did last year. Tech sold most of its allotment of 10,000 tickets last year but still finished $203,000 in the red, according to school officials.
No, this isn't a "shame on you" post like the one Eagle in Atlanta wrote for BC fans last night. As someone who also can't afford to be in Tampa this weekend, it would hypocritical of me to complain about Hokie fans not making the trip to the game and implore them to do what they can to support the team this weekend.
But the idea of there being more BC fans than VT fans in Raymond James Stadium Saturday makes me cringe. We are a fan base that is proud of its willingness to travel. Hell, I've made four trips of over 2,000 miles round trip to see the Hokies play this year.
I think the blaming the economy is a cop out, though. It's the trendy thing to do these days, like blaming El Nino. The collapsing economy hasn't hurt me too bad, but then again I'm single and pay $300 a month in rent. No, I think you can blame this on a few other reasons:
1. We aren't that good.
2. It's friggin' BC. Again.
3. This offense is painful to watch.
4. OK, the economy a little bit.
This team is 8-4. It isn't 10-2 like it was last year with two losses to teams that at the time were ranked No. 2. We aren't playing Florida State like we were in 2005 and we aren't looking for revenge like we were last year. Yes, we lost to BC in the regular season, but it wasn't a last-second, soul-crushing defeat.
And we all know it isn't going to be exciting football. The over-under on this game should be in the 20s. The two teams are going to grind on each other until one of them breaks in the fourth quarter. It won't be a sexy game. It will be like watching two guys fish.
And on top of that is the economic scapegoat.
The fact is, I can't afford this trip on short notice and neither can a lot of fans. I'm one of many Hokie fans that is saving their money for a bowl trip to either Nashville (fairly cheap) or Miami (fairly expensive). I really hope more Hokies decide to make the trip to Tampa this weekend. But I can't blame you if you don't. I despise hypocrisy.