Hundreds of students swarmed the Ray Tompkins House ticket office bright and early Monday morning to buy their tickets to the Yale-Harvard football game, set to take place at Harvard Stadium on Saturday.
According to Yale’s Senior Associate Athletics Director Jeremy Makins, Yale students purchased more than 2,400 tickets over the course of the day, and though tickets have not yet sold out, Makins said he expects to sell out Yale’s allotment this year, but there is “no way of knowing when it may happen.”
Makins told the News that the wait times for game tickets were “considerably less than two years ago” and that lines were moving quickly throughout most of the day.
Students waiting in line Monday expressed their excitement about the upcoming game, and many woke up early or cut class to ensure they got a ticket to a sporting event that sold out quickly when Harvard last hosted The Game in 2014. The ticket office had multiple ticket clerks distributing discounted tickets to students. Students with Yale IDs paid $25 for a ticket, which are sold for $75 at full price.
Harvard’s roughly 30,000-seat football stadium is approximately half the size of the Yale Bowl, and while the Game sold out two years ago, it did not sell out in 2012 or 2010 — years when The Game also took place at Harvard.
Despite arriving promptly at 9 a.m., Willemijn van Deursen ’20 said she waited in line for almost an hour and a half. The ticket line ebbed and flowed as classes began and ended throughout the day, but several students, including Deursen, said 9 a.m. was “the worst time to get there.”
Deursen explained that she was not very well-informed about the “supply and demand” of the tickets and added that it seemed almost “archaic” to stand in a line to buy tickets when most ticket vendors use online checkouts.
Despite the disparity in the teams’ records — Yale football currently sits at 2–7, while Harvard is 7–2 — student demand for tickets remained high. Even at 9 a.m., standing in a line extending past Payne Whitney Gymnasium, students expressed excitement for the 133rd iteration of the historic matchup.
Students are making their way to Cambridge in a variety of ways. For instance, Chrissy Hart ’20 and Amanda Hansen ’20 plan to take Yale’s chartered buses, which cost $23 each way. But some Yale athletics teams, extracurricular groups and clubs have also charted their own buses to The Game.
Aaron Bosgang ’20 and James Ash ’20, teammates on the men’s varsity lightweight crew team, plan to travel north on a “party bus” departing at 3 p.m. on Friday.
Of nine students interviewed, all planned to arrive at Harvard sometime on Friday. But after The Game, students are leaving at a variety of times. While some are coming back on a Yale chartered bus departing from Harvard Stadium at 5 p.m. Saturday, others plan to stay in Boston for a little longer, with some flying home for Thanksgiving Break out of Boston Logan International Airport.
As for overnight plans in Cambridge, many students, including Hart, intend to stay with friends at colleges and universities in the Boston area. Some, like Hansen, have friends or family living in Boston and plan to stay with them.
Still others, who do not have a place to stay, may choose to take advantage of Harvard’s dormitory accommodations. Each of Harvard’s residential houses is matched with a sister residential college at Yale. According to an email sent by Omeed Ziari ’19 to Silliman students Monday afternoon, Pforzheimer — Silliman’s sister house at Harvard — “will open up its basement party room on Friday night for a pizza dinner” and will provide “plenty of couches throughout the college for Sillimanders to rest overnight.”
Jonathan Edwards’ students also received a similar email from Jonathan Edwards Operations Manager Gygi Jennings asking students to sign up for Friday night accommodations at Harvard. According to the sign-up form, students will be housed in the Junior Common Room of Jonathan Edwards’ sister dormitory, the Eliot House. The sign-up recommended “packing lightly and bringing belongings to The Game.”
Though they will not match Yale students to specific rooms, Harvard will provide breakfast the morning of The Game. However, students who wish to stay in Cambridge on Saturday night must find their own accommodations.
The first Yale-Harvard Game took place in 1875 at Harvard.
Clarification, Nov. 16: A “party bus” departing for Harvard this Friday has no official association with the men’s varsity lightweight crew team. The article has been updated to reflect this fact.