Students Scramble for Game Tickets

After tickets to The Game sold out by Thursday afternoon, undergraduates found themselves scrambling to purchase them from their fellow students—barraging open e-mail lists with requests and offering resale prices as high as $100.

On Friday, Harvard Athletics announced the release of 170 unclaimed tickets that were previously reserved for friends and family of the football team, but House and student group lists remained active until the morning of The Game, and some students were still unable to witness the 10-0 victory over Yale.

According to Friday’s e-mail from Harvard Athletics, more tickets were reserved expressly for students this year than ever before, even without the additional 170. About 4,900 student tickets were distributed at the Athletic Ticket Office across the River and over the course of two days in Memorial Hall, said Erin Hobin-Audet, the Harvard Athletics ticket manager.

Harvard Stadium seats about 31,400 spectators, and according to Hobin-Audet, tickets for The Game were sold out in 2004 and 2006 as well.

While some students who had purchased general admission tickets for $30 simply sold them for face value, others upped the price significantly or sold tickets they had received for free with Harvard ID.

Many of the undergraduates who profited from ticket scalping declined to comment, but the resales drew ire and debate over some lists.

“How dare you take a ticket you got for free and turn around and sell it to a fellow student who actually does want to go, or whose friend or family member wants to go, for a disgusting amount of money because you know these people are desperate?” wrote Julia A. A. Arnous ’11 in an e-mail sent to Kirkland’s House list. “If you paid for the ticket you are selling, sell it for the amount you paid for it. If you got your ticket for free, sell it for the amount you paid for it.”

Christopher W. Higgins ’11 initially sought to buy a ticket off of a House list but was able to get a free ticket after the extra tickets were made available.

“I guess I was a bit upset that the tickets ran out, though I also blame myself for just neglecting to think about getting one till way late in the week,” Higgins said.

Although many students went through with sales of their free tickets, some who had advertised available tickets ended up giving them away to friends or keeping them.

Lewis M. Ward ’11 said, “I had offers for the ticket of up to $50, but in the end I gave it to a friend who didn’t have a ticket.”

Beier Ko ’09, who initially planned to sell her ticket, said that her friends changed her mind.

“I actually did not sell my ticket and decided to go to the game because my friends basically dragged me there,” Ko said. “And I changed my mind because I thought that it would be a good idea to go to my senior year Harvard-Yale game.”

—Staff writer Arianna Markel can be reached at