Yale-Harvard tickets sell out after accidental early release
A link to tickets for The Game was mistakenly made available Tuesday morning, causing a panic amongst students hoping to attend.
Spencer King, Contributing Photographer
Just before noon on Tuesday, rumors began circulating that a link to buy undergraduate student tickets for the Yale–Harvard Game on Nov. 19 had been released.
Students scrambling to the site were met with a variety of error messages as the website failed to load for many. Eventually, some lucky students were able to purchase a ticket after reloading multiple windows on phones, laptops, iPads and other devices.
Yale Athletics has claimed “full responsibility” for the incident.
“The link was live while we were in the process of establishing, ‘Okay, what is the set time we’re going to communicate to students to go online and buy these tickets?’” Executive Deputy Athletic Director Ann-Marie Guglieri said. “While it was live and we were in the middle of coming up with our plan, it was shared amongst the students, and people were going online and buying them.”
It remains unclear how the link was initially leaked or if additional tickets will become available in the future. The link now takes students to the Yale Campus Recreation member portal with no mention of tickets or The Game.
While tickets for the Game last year were free, they were priced this year at $25. Students reported that around 3,000 tickets were originally available for Yale’s population of 6,494. Many anxiously watched as the number of available tickets displayed on the website dropped rapidly.
The first instance where the event appeared as sold out was shortly after 2:30 p.m, but some students were able to secure tickets after additional batches appeared on the website at various moments later in the afternoon. Tickets were fully sold out by around 3:30 p.m.
“It was awful,” Josh Donovan ’26 said. “We spent two hours on this website before we got tickets. I skipped class to do this.”
The 138th iteration of The Game will be the first hosted at Harvard Stadium since 2016. The 2020 Game was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while the 2018 Game was played at Fenway Park in Boston. Because virtually no current students have attended The Game at Harvard Stadium, it was sometimes difficult for students to distinguish errors from usual protocol in the rush for tickets.
Senior Associate Dean of Strategic Initiatives and Communications for Yale College Paul McKinley told the News that there is typically an annual message from a student affairs leader that is a “bundled message” with transportation, ticket and housing information.
“It’s unfortunate that there was no advanced notice given about tickets being released,” said Agastya Rana ’24, events coordinator for the Yale College Council. “The primary way most people heard about it was word-of-mouth, which definitely shouldn’t happen for an official school event.”
Rana told the News he had recently contacted the Yale College Dean’s Office and Yale Athletics in order to request information about The Game so that he could try to communicate that information with students. Rana said he had yet to hear back from Yale Athletics or receive logistical details from YCDO representatives.
Marissa Blum ’24, a former staff reporter for the News, wrote that she bonded with other students in the Elm who were trying to get tickets over the shared frustration of either having to “pay the price of delaying the completion of our coursework” or take the financial loss of changing travel plans.
“Where the problem really came in was that I was not able to purchase my tickets for nearly two hours,” Blum wrote to the News, “I have had plans to go to The Game with friends for quite some time and even changed my travel plans home for Thanksgiving with the knowledge that The Game was taking place in the Boston area.”
The ticket launch, however roughly implemented, brought The Game to the forefront of campus discourse. Players on the team said they could feel the excitement building around campus.
“We are ready to bring our best to the school up north,” starting cornerback Sean Guyton ’25 wrote to the News. “We continue to improve across all phases of the game, offense, defense and special teams, so we are excited to see Bulldog fans flood Cambridge for The Game. It is really cool to hear how students are going crazy for tickets! We love the support.”
Tickets available for Harvard students sold out on Oct. 19. It is unclear how tickets were split between the universities’ two undergraduate populations.
Students lucky enough to secure tickets during the rush will be able to use them despite the confusion surrounding their release.
“The tickets that were sold all went to Yale students and they will all be valid,” Guglieri said. “I’ll just say again, this was on us. This was an error on our department, we take full responsibility for it.”
The official capacity of Harvard Stadium is 25,884, and the capacity of the Yale Bowl is 61,446.