UPDATE: QU/Yale tickets sell out within minutes
Last year, junior Jordan Katz sat at his computer at 9:45 p.m., waiting for the clock to strike 10. Once it did, he made one click and earned one of the most coveted tickets for Quinnipiac students: the Yale game.
“I make sure that the ticket is mine,” Katz said. “I had my ticket within 30 seconds.”
The Quinnipiac vs. Yale men’s ice hockey game is always one of the most sought-after tickets out of every Quinnipiac sporting event. To the public, the game usually sells out by Thanksgiving or Christmas. This year, it sold out in October, according to Eric Grgurich, executive director of the TD Bank Sports Center.
“Everyone wants to know when the date is when our schedule comes out,” Grgurich said. “They start buying tickets right away.”
In years past, students would wait in either the student center or in front of the Bank to get a ticket. But over the past few years, the TD Bank Sports Center staff changed its system to allow students to get their free ticket online.
Tickets went on sale Monday at 10 p.m., and by 10:05, the game was completely sold out, according to Group Ticket Sales and Promotions Manager Dave Caprio.
“It’s the biggest game we anticipate each year with all the student involvement and interest,” Ticket Manager Matt Calcagni said. “We know it’s the first question on anybody’s mind going into it.”
Student tickets to last year’s game sold out almost immediately, and tickets to this year’s game went even faster. The staff awarded 100 fans, who attended the most games, free tickets so they did not have to go through the process of waiting for a ticket online.
There have been people waiting outside the arena to try and scalp tickets to the game if it is sold out. Regular tickets for adults at most games cost $13. For premium games (vs. Yale, Cornell and Harvard), they cost $14. OStubHub, the cheapest ticket costs $79, while the most expensive one costs $154, as of 2 p.m. Tuesday.
“It’s been pretty crazy,” Caprio said. “The demand’s been great.”
Added Grgurich: “Season tickets are almost that much money in itself.”
Student tickets for all home games are free, and now some students are selling their tickets ranging anywhere from $20 to $60. Once the students get the tickets, it is out of Caprio’s hands.
“If someone is getting a ticket with no intention of going to the game, they’re just scamming their classmates and that’s wrong,” said Nick Sczerbinski, president of the QU Spirit Group.
The Yale game is something freshmen hear about at orientation. It’s the one game that’s guaranteed to get a full arena. Last year’s game drew 3,968 people, and two years ago it drew 3,957. In 2010, 4,267 people attended the game.
“It’s always the most sought-after ticket, so we always sell out,” Caprio said. “It’s always a capacity crowd. It doesn’t seem to matter what the record is, what our standing is, what their standing is.”
The student section at the High Point Solutions Arena at TD Bank Sports Center is in sections 108, 109, 110 and 111, right behind the goal where Quinnipiac shoots twice. Because the tickets in the student section are general admission, students line up outside the arena hours before the game.
“They try and get here as early as they can so they can get the spot they want,” Caprio said. “I’ve seen them as early as 3:30 p.m.”
This year’s game features two nationally-ranked opponents, drawing an even larger media base. The game will be televised on NBC Sports Network and according to Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Information Ken Sweeten, the press box will also be at full capacity, anticipating close to 40 people to fit up there.
“We don’t want to turn anyone away,” Sweeten said. “We appreciate the coverage we get from everyone … The coverage this year has been unbelievable.”
The Bobcats went from a lesser-known team to the top-ranked team in both last week and this week’s USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls. They have been featured in numerous media outlets, including the New York Times, and Friday’s game will be on national television.
“Even before we cracked the top 10, it’s been great,” Sweeten said. “The higher we got in the rankings, the more it’s increased.”
The more attention the team gets, the more calls the TD Bank Sports Center staff fields. Callers often compare the prices online to the prices Quinnipiac typically sells tickets for.
“It’s kind of amazing the interest, the higher the price,” Calcagni said.
In its past three home games, Quinnipiac has averaged more than 3,840 fans at each game. The amount of standing-room tickets is determined by the fire marshal, according to Caprio.
“Every year, the Heroes Hat game shows the potential that this campus has when it comes to supporting athletics,” Sczerbinski said. “I just wish it would carry over.”
This year’s game features the No. 1 team in the country against the No. 13 team in the country.
“It’s going to be an experience that a lot of people haven’t had before,” Katz said. “It’s the biggest game of the year.”