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Pit Tickets Sell, But Not Near a Sellout

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Ticket sales for the NCAA Tournament games at the Pit are moving along, but there are plenty of seats available for both today’s four games and Saturday’s doubleheader.

One online secondary market source, meanwhile, says its Albuquerque tickets are moving more slowly than in any of the other sites for second- and third-round games.

Kurt Esser, UNM associate athletic director, said late Wednesday that some 10,600 tickets were sold for today’s first session, the doubleheader of Montana-Wisconsin and Harvard-Vanderbilt.

He said the second session —Baylor vs. South Dakota and UNLV vs. Colorado — is at 11,600 in sales, and the number for Saturday’s doubleheader pitting the two winners in each session is 10,900.

The capacity of the Pit for this weekend’s NCAA games is 13,700, said Greg Remington, the tournament director from UNM’s side.

Meanwhile, Tim Fraser, spokesperson for ticketnetwork.com, said his website’s sales for Albuquerque games are “the fewest tickets sold in any of the arenas.”

Fraser cites not the quality of teams — Albuquerque has four Top-25 squads here today — but the distance from most of the fan bases as the reason.

“A lot of times, driving distance is important,” Fraser said. “Colorado and Baylor are in neighboring states and are going to be the biggest draws. Baylor, with Perry Jones III, their fans will more than likely travel. But I doubt that the fan bases of Harvard, Montana and Vanderbilt will travel well.”

The face value of a ticket “book” comprised of all three Pit sessions is $210 to $240, with single-session tickets priced at $70 to $90.

Fraser said the average selling price on the ticketnetwork.com website for today’s first session is $54, well below face value.

However, he said, the second-session average sale price is $92, and $167 for the Saturday session, even though the teams have yet to be determined, and $358 for a book.

Esser said he expects a strong walk-up showing today, and wants fans to know that the University of New Mexico game in Portland, Ore., against Long Beach State, expected to tip off at about 2:10 p.m., will be shown not only on the concourses but in the Pit suites.

Fans also can bring in IPads or other smart devices and use those to watch other games too, if they so choose, Remington said. For $3.99, the NCAA is making an app available to watch all NCAA Tournament games on any one of a number of platforms. Instructions can be found at ncaasports.com.

Fans who want to sell tickets aren’t allowed to do so at the Pit, Esser said — and in any case, New Mexico law prohibits “scalping,” or reselling tickets above face value for college sporting events.

— This article appeared on page D3 of the Albuquerque Journal

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