After a furious sprint out of the gate, Orange Bowl ticket sales are limping toward the finish line with just more than three weeks to go.
Both Kansas University and Virginia Tech have tickets remaining for the Jan. 3 Orange Bowl. Virginia Tech assistant athletic director Sandy Smith said Tuesday the Hokies had sold around 15,000.
KU associate athletic director Jim Marchiony, meanwhile, said at Tuesday's Kansas Athletics, Inc., board meeting that the Jayhawks had sold about 16,300 tickets.
Both schools are allotted 17,500, which are all together in Dolphin Stadium.
"It's slowed down," Smith said of Virginia Tech's sales. "I'm sure it has for (Kansas), too."
Athletic director Lew Perkins is confident that the tickets - which go for $125 each - will be gobbled up soon, perhaps within a week.
But just in case, Kansas has marketed the availability of seats for the game. Thousands of KU fans received an e-mail from "Mark Mangino" on Tuesday, which actually was an Orange Bowl reminder and an opportunity to announce that tickets remained on sale. The team's marketing campaign was adjusted to "This is what January was made for."
In addition, Kansas has started a small Web site, orangebowlbound.com, to promote the game.
About 10 percent of KU's ticket sales so far have been to students, and KU has offered student tickets for just $50. Perkins said KU plans to pay the difference.
Though the game expects to be a relatively full crowd in the 72,000-seat venue, online ticket brokers still have many available. Ticketsnow.com reports that the average price for Orange Bowl tickets through its site has dropped from $212 to $188 in recent weeks.
If Kansas doesn't sell its full share, the Big 12 Conference covers the cost of the remaining tickets. But both Kansas and Virgnia Tech are hopeful that all 17,500 will be scooped up at each school.
It just won't be in a hurry.
"It's a long way for everybody," Smith said. "It's really difficult to get a flight. That's a big tourist destination this time of year."