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Ahead of this year’s Harvard-Yale football game, a marketplace has emerged for the resale of free undergraduate tickets, with some tickets going for more than $100.
Each Harvard undergraduate received one free ticket for seating in the student section of Harvard Stadium, the site of The Game for the first time since 2016. But some undergrads, who are not planning to attend, are selling the coveted tickets to students who are welcoming friends or family to the football game on Saturday.
To Rosanna Kataja ’24 — who marketed her ticket over a house email list and received an offer for $120 — the decision to sell was a matter of “simple economics.”
“Being a college student with a student budget, why not make a few bucks selling the ticket to somebody who was willing to pay for it?” said Kataja, who will be in Connecticut on the day of The Game.
While some are marketing tickets over class group chats or house email lists, other students are streamlining the process through Google spreadsheets and forms. On one Adams House spreadsheet obtained by The Crimson, sellers listed tickets priced from $100 to $500.
Daniella M. Berrospi ’24 said she sees selling her ticket as an opportunity to make money to spend on something more meaningful to her than football.
“There’s so many people that have money, and relatives, or family members, or friends coming from different states that come to see the game, and they’re willing to put down a lot of money to get a ticket,” Berrospi said. “It’s just amazing to me, and I’m like, why not take advantage of the opportunity?”
Phoebe H. Suh ’23, who sold her ticket for $65, argued that while the tickets were technically free to Harvard undergraduates, the experience of going to The Game itself gives them value.
“I’m okay with selling my ticket because I’m giving up something that I could do, so I understand that my ticket has value to me,” Suh said.
Some students are selling their tickets in the name of charity.
Mira-Rose J. Kingsbury Lee ’24 launched a sealed-bid, second-price auction for her ticket and two others donated by friends, with all proceeds going to nonprofits. She said she was surprised to receive a flurry of bids — including a top offer of $1,000.
“Ultimately, part of it is they need a ticket, and then part of it is they were looking to do some good in that process,” Kingsbury Lee said of the top bidder. “I’m really astounded by the generosity.”
Signs posted at all student ticket distribution locations ban the sale of free student tickets, according to Harvard spokesperson Rachael Dane.
“Complimentary tickets cannot be sold, transferred, traded, or bartered for goods and services by any party,” the signs read. “Each ticket issued by Harvard Athletics is a revocable license which may be revoked for any reason at any time at the sole discretion of Harvard Athletics.”
Despite the signage, Robin M. Robinson ’22-’23 said she was unaware that student tickets could not be resold.
“I didn’t know you weren’t allowed to because there was no email about it on my house list,” Robinson said.
“I just thought it was an opportunity to make a few bucks,” she added.
Katie M. Sierra ’23, who purchased an extra ticket for $200 through a resale platform, raised the concern that resold tickets may not actually be valid for non-Harvard undergraduates.
“If you’re trying to bring a parent or non-Harvard friend to Harvard, those student tickets won’t actually work for them,” Sierra said. “I think that a lot of people are not aware of this and that there’s gonna be a lot of disappointment on game day.”
The cheapest tickets on resale platforms StubHub and Vivid Seats cost $160 and $149, respectively, as of Wednesday. These tickets are for assigned seating separate from the student sections.
A limited quantity of tickets were made available to Yale students for $25 each, but a Yale Athletics technical mishap led the purchase link to release early, leaving some students ticketless.
—Staff writer Ella L. Jones can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @ejones8100.
—Staff writer Leah J. Teichholtz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @LeahTeichholtz.
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