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Griz Athletics details football ticket fiasco

Fans are expressing their frustration over the unavailability of tickets for the upcoming FCS playoff game in Missoula this weekend.

MISSOULA — On Tuesday night, eager fans rushed to Griz Tix in anticipation of this weekend’s Griz game, seeking to secure general admission tickets. However, the excitement quickly transformed into frustration as the site promptly sold out. While accusations of bot interference and third-party site involvement circulated, the University of Montana clarified the situation.

Dave Kuntz, UM’s Director of Strategic Communication, addressed the matter, attributing it to the limited availability of tickets. “Griz fans, what happened last night with Griztix was supply & demand. There were only 2-to-3 thousand tickets available after season ticket re-ups & student allotments. There were no large-scale ‘bot’ activities. The fact is this is a big game with a ton of demand & that led to a quick sellout.”

Subsequently, disgruntled Griz fans who were unable to secure tickets voiced their discontent. On the evening of December 12, 2023, as fans swarmed GrizTix to secure seats for the game, UM Football’s Director of Communications, Eric Taber, suggested that high site traffic may have impacted sales, particularly given the limited remaining tickets.

Taber elaborated, stating, “There was only about 3,000 tickets left to sell to the general public, so it was just tight and they went really fast online.” The scarcity of public tickets arose from the overwhelming majority of season ticket holders reserving their seats in advance.

“This year, we had 18,761 season ticket holders, 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.

Despite UM’s efforts to set a public ticket price of $35, tickets sold out rapidly, leading to resale prices ranging from $100 to $1,000 online. Taber acknowledged the challenge of preventing ticket scalping, stating, “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.”

While UM can’t prevent season-ticket holders from reselling their tickets at a markup, they implement measures to block large quantities of ticket purchases. Taber emphasized, “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.”

Kuntz added that about 3% of the stadium capacity is currently available on the secondary market, insufficient to fill up the smallest section of the entire stadium.

For those still seeking tickets, third-party sites remain an option. The University of Montana Police Department proactively increased patrols around the ticket office at the Adams Center to address any potential issues.

Kickoff for Saturday’s semifinal game is set for 2:30 p.m. If unable to secure a ticket, fans can catch the game on ESPN 2.

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