Introducing The Hottest Ticket In College Basketball HistoryPosted by nvr1983 on April 25th, 2011
Any time two college basketball powers meet it is a hot ticket. It can be a traditional rivalry where the teams meet at least twice a year like Duke and UNC or a less frequent match-ups like the Kansas–Kentucky one that we will see next season. In either scenario you can bet that outside the lucky few who are able to land tickets through the school or the random lottery that is online ticket distribution, anybody who gets in will be paying a hefty sum. However, there appears to be one ticket next season that is even harder to get and one that is so exclusive that there will not even be a secondary ticket market.
When Michigan State and UNC announced that they would be playing their inter-conference match-up on a naval carrier on Veterans Day in San Diego it added a special dimension to a match-up that would have had college basketball fans salivating even if it was played on a nondescript outdoor basketball court. It would serve as an enticing start to the college basketball season featuring two of the top ten programs in college basketball. While a loaded Tar Heel team will probably be significantly better than a rebuilding Spartan team there will be plenty of interest to see if Tom Izzo can find a way to counter the talented Tar Heels. In short it will be a ticket that every college basketball fan would love to have, but playing it on a ship raised those tickets to another level and made it so that it would be nearly impossible for college basketball fans to see in person.
It was announced earlier today that the only people who would be allowed to view the game in person are those that fall into one of the following groups:
- 4,000 military personnel
- 1,000 distributed among the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, Wounded Warrior Project and the San Diego Air & Space Museum
- 1,500 evenly distributed between the two schools
- 400 coaches who participate in an affiliated basketball clinic
One group that is noticeably absent is the public. That’s right — you can’t buy these tickets. Those who are lucky enough to land tickets won’t have to pay out of pocket, as all the tickets are free, but that does not mean that they are going to be able to make an easy profit either because the tickets will include the ticket holder’s name and that person will have to have a matching official form of ID. While there are certainly more than a few scalpers who are upset by this added security measure it makes more sense when you remember that the game is being played on US Navy property. We are curious to see how the schools will distribute the tickets, but it seems like the most likely scenario is that the tickets will go to long-time (read: wealthy) boosters. It seems unlikely that many, if any, of those tickets will go to students given the scarcity of tickets and the fact that both schools are several thousand miles away from San Diego.
The game itself is expected to start at 4 PM pacific time and will be played on the deck of a ship that has yet to be named (for security reasons), unless it is raining in which case the game and the fans would be moved down to the hangar deck. If you are a
fan major booster of another big school don’t despair because it appears that the organizers are planning on making this a multi-year event as they are already in talks to coordinate the 2012 game that would feature Michigan State and possibly Duke with Texas, Ohio State, Florida, Navy, San Diego State, and Notre Dame. So if you are dreaming about watching big-time college basketball on a US Naval aircraft carrier you should either enlist now or be ready to open your checkbook very wide.