A select few Minnesota Golden Gophers fans are truly getting their money's worth at basketball games this season.
Before the 2012-13 season the school created and marketed a novel idea called the "Golden Ticket." (They must be big Willy Wonka fans.) With this deal, which cost $75, fans could get into every one of Minnesota's Big Ten home games. But if fans attend a game when Minnesota loses, their "Golden Ticket" is deactivated.
So far, so good, for the 41 fans who took the plunge.
Minnesota has played Michigan State and Northwestern at home, and the Golden Gophers proved victorious in both matchups. ESPN's Darren Rovell reported that nearly half of the "Golden Ticket" owners went to the Michigan State game, while more than 90 percent attended the Golden Gophers matchup with the Wildcats.
On Thursday "Golden Ticket" holders are faced with their toughest gamble yet. With Minnesota taking on No. 5 Michigan in Minneapolis, these fans could lose their privileges if the Golden Gophers don't win.
But this is Minnesota's most important home game thus far, so you figure fans would want to see this one at Williams Arena.
Rovell points out that the stakes are even higher for this game because after Michigan, the Golden Gophers' home schedule gets considerably easier.
(H/T to Darren Rovell)