Thursday, January 13, 2011
Drivers shell out thousands for special Texas license plates
When bidding got slow, the hosts encouraged people to buy a plate and “eBay it.”
ARLINGTON Nearly $140,000 was bid out at the Great Plate Auction at Cowboys Stadium Thursday night, where attendees ponied up thousands for one-of-a-kind Texas license plates. Of the 33 plates up for auction, the highest bid went to the FERRARI plate, for $15,000.
We anticipated that COWBOYS would grab the most money, but it clocked in behind FERRARI at $11,500. The lowest-grossing plate was MICHAEL. A bidder nabbed it for $900, and was clearly an unexciting choice for anyone not named Michael.
The event brought a surprisingly calm, collected group to the Cowboys Stadium field – a group which clapped politely when the auctioneer shouted “SOLD!” but otherwise kept the cheering and arguing to a minimum.
It was clear where Texas drivers' loyalties lie based on how much they were willing to spend for certain license plates:
In the world of college sports, the University of Texas prevailed. RAIDERS went for $2,000; AGGIES1 went for $2,750; SOONERS went for $5,000; MUSTANG snagged an impressive $7,000; and GO HORNS took the cake for $10,500. (And similarly, DRAGONS – as in, yes, the Southlake-Carroll Dragons – went for $7,750. That's a pretty big testament to the high school football powerhouse.)
In professional sports, RANGERS won a $10,000 bid and COWBOYS went for $11,500. STARS and MAVS FAN couldn't compete, with bids for $1,000 and $1,200 respectively.
And participants clearly showed loyalty to their cities: DALLAS took in $1,500 and FT WORTH raised a whopping $5,000.
The event was planned by MyPlates.com, a private company that has put more than $2.5 million into the general revenue fund for Texas. The license plates auctioned Thursday are good for 25 years.
This year marks the first time that seven-character plates will be allowed in Texas. The public will be able to buy seven-character plates beginning at 7 a.m. March 7, and they will be available for only seven days, said president and CEO of MyPlates.com Steve Farrar.
A seven-character plate in which the winner can pick their own phrase was the last auctioned item on Thursday night. It was a popular pick and was sold for $6,000.
“Buying a license plate is the equivalent of real estate,” the host said. “We're here to make history.” Since no license plate had ever been sold for more than $10,000 in Texas, history was made.
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