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At 12:30 p.m. today, not a seat will be empty at Soldiers Field as the Crimson confronts the Yale Bulldogs in the annual football classic, the event that also means classic profits for Cambridge businesses, liquor stores, and restaurants.
Close to 40,400 tickets have been sold, including 500 standing room only spots. The Department of Buildings and Grounds have set up temporary stands at the open end of the field to seat 3000 spectators.
Scalpers are the only source of tickets. Offers for tickets in the temporary stands where the view is obscured at best, begin at $20. Peter G. Wilcox '81 sold a pair of tickets for $30 each for seats at the upper level of the five-yard line. Fifty dollars a piece is not uncommon for good seats.
Gordon M. Page, ticket office manager in the Department of Athletics, said yesterday that a list of 13 priorities determined the seats of the spectators.
The President of the University, his fellows, the Faculty committee on athletics, and the H-men, former Varsity football players, were at the top of the list. The reunion classes for this year were all guaranteed entrance to the game as well as all undergraduates who applied for tickets, though the quality of the seats were not guaranteed.
Page said "Those with season tickets in the last 5 to 20 years will be sitting pretty on the 50-yard line, since Harvard is interested in those who support it."
As to the rumor that one must donate a gym to sit between the 25-yard lines, Page added, "It's not too far from wrong."
Graduate students have no priority. "They are low men on the totem pole," he said, "though most who came in received either single or standing tickets."
The Department of Buildings and Grounds, preparing for the crowds, is paying willing persons $4 an hour to sweep the snow off the seats.
Yale students began pouring in last night. The annual Yale Train, scheduled to leave New Haven at 8 a.m. and arrive in Boston at 12 noon, will carry 800 students in eight cars. The cost of the round trip including complimentary screwdrivers and Bloody Marys is $23.
The businesses of Harvard Square are gearing up to show everybody--Elis, alumni and the regular Crimson crowd--a good time, while making a good profit.
Today's quote on the blackboard at Bartley's Burger Cottage reads, "The only thing better than Bartley's chicken is a Harvard win over Yale." But most businesses in Cambridge are not as concerned about the outcome as they are thankful that The Game is at home.
An MBTA worker at the Harvard station estimated that almost double the usual Saturday crowd of 10,000 will pass through the turnstiles today.
The Harvard Coop is hoping for their biggest retail weekend of the year, anticipating a 30 per cent increase in sales over a normal weekend, James Argeros, Coop General Manager, said yesterday. In order to encourage returning alumni to renew their Coop accounts and alumni and Yale students to spend some time and money at the store, the Coop has opened an information booth on the store's first floor.
Argeros expects to sell out over 3000 BEAT YALE buttons today. The buttons are selling at 59 cents each, two for a dollar.
The hike in the Massachusetts drinking age and earlier game time changes many business' approach to this weekend. Two years ago The Bow and Arrow Pub had a 25 per cent increase in business during the Harvard-Yale weekend, Pete Penslerak, the pub's bartender said, adding that the increased drinking age will make this weekend less profitable.
But Lenny Miceli, who has worked at University Liquors for the last 18 years, said that the amount of liquor sold, which always increase on football weekends, never varies from Harvard-Yale game to Harvard-Yale game
Mike Stone, manager of Mug 'n Muffin, expects a "big breakfast crowd," while Bill Bartley from Bartley's Burger Cottage said that a lot of people will be coming in around 11:30 for brunch, adding that, "I'm nervous already" about the amount of extra work.
Preparations for the game began last night with a pep rally in the Freshman Union and a wealth of parties. John P. Reardon Jr. '60, director of athletics, sponsored a cocktail party at the Kennedy School for the varsity club, all the alumni who played on varsity teams.
A dozen freshmen enjoyed a candlelight dinner with tablecloth and wine at the Union. "We're getting ready for the game," Sarah J. Albee '84 said last night.
"All leaves were cancelled for today," a Harvard Security officer said last night. One hundred per cent of the force will be on duty today covering the American Broadcasting Company's tent at the game and tonight covering the parties. "We don't expect any trouble," he added, "just a lot of people."
The band's 5' x 7' banner was stolen earlier this week. Though it is customary for Yalies to pull pranks, "it could have been anyone," Dan Hirschliner '81, drillmaster of the band, said yesterday.
The only differences in the day's program as a result of ABC's televised coverage are the starting time of 12:30 p.m. and the lengthening of half-time to 20 minutes.
A few people are not pleased with ABC's coverage. Stan Wojcik, a writer and producer at WCVB, the Boston ABC station, said yesterday Channel 5 has been receiving five to ten phone calls every day this week complaining that the Harvard-Yale game is preempting Michigan-Ohio State.
But not everyone was aware of the Game. Elliot Richardson, who was handling out stereo leaflets at the Square yesterday, did not know of any game today. His response when finding out, "Thanks. I'll definitely be here tomorrow."
So will lots of other people.
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