Robbie Short

With the Yale-Harvard game just over two months away, Yale Athletics has announced a new promotional venture, which will give students who attend a handful of specific sporting events access to a ticket presale on Oct. 23rd — two days before the general sale opens.

Alongside the logistics of playing the game at Fenway Park, the Boston Red Sox ballpark, one of the biggest questions about this year’s edition of The Game was how the University would handle ticket sales. Yale Athletics announced last week that it would have a three-tiered system to distribute the 2,500 tickets allocated to students. To qualify for the top-tier ticket access on Oct. 23, students must attend four specific Yale games. To make the second tier and get ticket access on Oct. 24, students must attend three of the four specified games. Tickets will be available to all other students beginning on Oct. 25, at which point Yale Athletics will sell tickets until they run out.

“Yale Athletics is using the promotion to raise awareness of this year’s new and earlier ticket distribution date,” Director of Sports Publicity Steve Conn said. “[In recent years], student ticket distribution began on the Monday prior to the Harvard game. This year, due to changes in the return date required by Fenway, distribution must begin earlier.”

The four sporting events included in the promotion are the women’s soccer game this Thursday against LIU Brooklyn, the men’s soccer game against George Mason on Sept. 21, the field hockey game against Princeton on Sept. 28 and the football team’s Ivy home opener against Dartmouth on Oct. 5.

To register their attendance, students need to check in at the Yale Athletics marketing table for each game.

“The Whaling Crew is excited that [Yale] Athletics is taking this opportunity to promote field hockey and our soccer squads alongside the football team,” Whaling Crew President Jackson Cole ’20 said. “While the Whaling Crew needs no excuse to get rowdy at any Yale athletic event, we hope to see a lot of students at these promoted games.”

There have never been enough tickets for all Yale students to attend The Game when it is played at Harvard, but this year there are additional restrictions. In the past, Yale’s ticket allocation for the student section has numbered around 3,000. Around 2,500 of those tickets were typically sold to Yale students, with the rest being sold as guest tickets, according to Yale Senior Associate Athletic Director Jeremy Makins. This year, Makins told the News, Yale has been allotted just 2,500 tickets based on the number of student tickets usually purchased. As a result, Yale Athletics announced in April that Yale students will not be allowed to purchase guest tickets for friends.

Yale Athletics designed the promotion both to reward reliable fans and to encourage students who do not often attend sporting events to come out and support, according to Conn. The hope is that the staggered sales scheme can prevent the long lines and wait times that have plagued the ticket process for previous Yale-Harvard games.

Student-athletes are excited about the potential increase in support as a result of this initiative.

“We live and breathe our sport every single day,” field hockey captain Jackie Kisa ’19 said. “It’s nice to have the Yale community tell you they believe in you, so to give students the incentive to come watch a game or two really makes a difference.”

The promotion is not the first of its kind for Yale Athletics, Conn said. In 2015, the University rolled out Bulldog Rewards, an app that allowed fans to earn points for attending games that could be redeemed for Yale merchandise.

Yale will face Harvard at Fenway in the 135th edition of The Game on Nov. 17.

Caleb Rhodes | caleb.rhodes@yale.edu