By Paula Ann Solis
Monday at 10 a.m., sales for student football tickets to see the Bears take on the Cowboys in Oklahoma went on sale.
By 10:30 a.m., they were all gone.
Only 80 game day packages were available for students to purchase, and the sale was supposed to last until 3 p.m. Tickets for the Saturday away game in Stillwater, Okla., included a round trip bus ticket, all for $75.
Students lined up inside the Bill Daniel Student Center before tickets went on sale and were asked to fill out forms confirming their commitment to attend before they were sold the game day package, said Kamille Gaston, coordinator of ticket operations for student activities.
“We printed exactly 80 forms, and then we had printed some wait list forms just in case,” Gaston said. “The first group arrived about 7:40 a.m. We had wait list forms ready in the event that, if a spot were to open up, we would then talk to students interested.”
Those wait list forms proved necessary after tickets sold out. However, Gaston said no student was turned away empty-handed during the first hour, as some left with tickets and others with their names on the now-closed wait list.
Great Falls, Va., junior Andrew Miller said he arrived at 11 a.m. because he and a group of friends were hoping to travel together, but it was too late.
“We’re probably just going to go to the watch party now,” Miller said. “But they said they were trying to get more tickets, but they said it would be unlikely.”
Miller said in the past he never had any problems getting a travel package offered by Student Activities and did not expect to be left empty-handed just one hour after the tickets went on sale.
Gulf Breeze, Fla., senior Josh Suelflow said he arrived 10 minutes before tickets went on sale and already a line of more than 40 students had formed.
“I know so many people who wanted to get a ticket,” Suelflow said. “Everyone was surprised with how fast they sold. Some of my friends are looking on StubHub now, but one friend said they’re really expensive or sold out in most outlets.”
At the time of publication, the StubHub website reported 487 tickets were available in Boone Pickens Stadium at Lewis Field. They range from $128 in the upper sideline to $2,000 for sideline passes.
Suelflow said this game is big deal for Baylor, especially because ESPN’s College GameDay preview program will cover the matchup. He said if Student Activities would have offered 200 more tickets, he is positive they would have sold just as quickly.
However, Nick Joos, the executive associate athletics director for external affairs, said more tickets for students were just not an option.
“These weren’t even going to be available,” Joos said. “A couple weeks ago, we weren’t even going to be able to take the band.”
Joos said in accordance with Big 12 Conference rules, Baylor has to request how many tickets to buy from an opposing school for each away game by July 1. The purchase amount is limited to 3,800 tickets, but Baylor uses historical data to project how many students, band members, coaches, donors and other guests will likely want to attend.
This year’s projection didn’t account for the undefeated streak the Bears have had this season that would lead to such high anticipation in a game that could mean the first football victory in Stillwater since 1939.
Joos said Baylor was lucky enough to have a connection in the Oklahoma State University tickets department that allowed the university to buy extra tickets to bring the band and the 80 students traveling together.
“I think it’s tremendous, and it speaks to the excitement around Baylor football right now,” Joos said. “I think it’s really cool that they’re going to go up there and be on Game Day and be ready to cheer that night. But they better bring a winter coat.”
For students who missed the opportunity to buy a ticket, online vendors remain an option, but for those staying in Waco this weekend, a watch party in the SUB den will begin at 7 p.m. when the Bears kick-off 350 miles north of Waco.