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Details of the University of Montana Athletics football semifinal ticket fiasco



Missoula, Montana – This Saturday is the first time since 2009 that the FCS semifinal has taken place in Missoula.

Disgruntled Griz supporters who were unable to secure tickets for this weekend’s playoff game are now grunting.

UM Football’s Director of Communications Eric Taber stated that a large volume of site traffic may have affected sales, especially when there weren’t many tickets remaining, as supporters raced to GrizTix on the evening of December 12 to get a seat for the game.

Taber detailed, “There were only about 3,000 tickets left to sell to the general public so it was just tight and they went fast online.”

Because nearly all season ticket holders reserve their seats in advance, there aren’t many public tickets available. Season ticket holders can purchase or decline a playoff ticket during an early access period.

“18,761 season ticket holders this year, that’s a record for Washington-Grizzly Stadium. So, more season ticket holders than we’ve ever had, and this week in particular, we had pretty much 100% buy-in from every season ticket holder,” Taber explained. “When you think about it, that is most of the stadium. I mean, that’s almost 19,00 people in a 25,000-seat stadium.”

Additionally, according to Taber, there are 3,000 seats set aside for the student section, 250 for the band, the 500 seats required by the NCAA for the opposing team, and extra tickets for the families of the players.

The public ticket price was set by UM Sports at $35, however, they sold out very quickly and are currently available online for rates between $100 and $1,000.

“There are human beings and there are bots out there that buy tickets and sell them on a secondary market for a profit. There’s not a lot of ability to stop that,” Taber described. “It’s unfortunate. We want everybody to experience Grizzly football, we want that to be accessible for everybody.”

According to Taber, UM is powerless to stop someone from reselling their ticket and raising the price if they so choose, such as a season ticket holder. They may, nevertheless, prevent significant numbers of ticket sales.

“We do take steps to prevent large quantities of purchases and that’s selling in groups of 4 to 8 so an entire section of the stadium can’t be bought out from underneath us,” he stated.

The University of Montana Police Department stepped up patrols outside the Adams Center ticket office on Wednesday to be more proactive. They claimed that as of 2:00 p.m., nothing was wrong.

The semifinal match on Saturday will go off at 2:30 p.m. If tickets are sold out, ESPN 2 will broadcast the game.


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