UA-UT Hottest Ticket In History

FAYETTEVILLE -Texas at Arkansas this Saturday is the hottest ticket this town has ever seen.

Some 72,000 fans already have them in hand and if you want to get a grip on a couple, you'd better get on it.

Just 300 indoor club seats of the $150 variety remained as of noon Wednesday, but Arkansas folks sold 42 of those on Tuesday and the ticket office lines were awful busy Wednesday morning.

"They're still selling," said Razorbacks Stadium ticket manager Mark Scobey. "I can see those $150s selling by Friday."

The real good news for Razorbacks fans, players and coaches is that although Texas sold its allotment of 4,000 tickets, not many have been placed at Will Call for Longhorns fans.

"Not much, but some," Scobey said.

For this one - as for other biggies - Arkansas has pulled out bleachers in the North End Zone, where several hundred more fans than usual can get a first-hand look. UA folks made more of those seats available for this than any other Razorback Stadium game and they were gone by Sunday afternoon.

The $35 upperdeck seats were gone Saturday morning, much of that action coming through Web site sales.

"I was really impressed with the Web sales," Scobey said.

Scobey also was impressed with last Saturday's Razorback Stadium showing as 70,114 showed up for Arkansas' 63-13 drubbing of New Mexico State.

Lots of times against not-so-flashy opponents, Scobey said, UA season ticket holders will pass four of theirs to two folks with instructions to sell the other two. Though we didn't look for long, we saw just one man selling one ticket last Saturday.

Doubt we see him this weekend.

One of the first things Arkansas coach Houston Nutt talked about after the offensive show against New Mexico State was fans like the ones who saw it are why Razorback Stadium was expanded from a capacity of 51,000 to 72,000 in 2001.

Maybe so. But this week's game against the No. 7 Longhorns is an even bigger reason.

Despite three listings of over 73,000 in attendance since the renovation (the largest was 74,026 for the 2003 Auburn game), Arkansas has not had a complete sellout of the stadium.

"This will probably be the largest sell," Scobey said. "This would definitely be ... for this one, I think everybody will show up. The weather looks good and it should be a great game."

So how do UA folks come up with such numbers even though there has yet to be a sellout of the 72,000-seat facility? Like most schools, they count the stadium workers - some 3,000 of them - players, bands, coaches ... you name it.

Last season, Arkansas pushed around then-No. 5 Texas in front of 83,271 down in Austin.

Saturday, for the first time against Texas, the numbers will be close to even. Arkansas is expecting some 75,000 to 76,000 on hand for what could be the last UA-UT regular-season matchup of our lifetimes.

A few tickets to the game have been spotted on eBay for sale at above face value. That's a no-no in Arkansas (there's a disclaimer for Arkansas residents stating that on the page), but scalping is legal in Texas. So a Texas fan can make a profit from an Arkansas fan for an Arkansas game as long as the sale of the Arkansas ticket takes place from Texas.

Get that?

You know, fans ask me all the time if I can help get them tickets to big deals like Saturday's. Have to admit, it can drive a fellow crazy. The calls and inquiries started this summer, but I've got no inside connections for such.

Scobey, on the other hand, must have armfuls of extras to dole out, eh?

Imagine the calls he gets for inside scoops on outside seats.

Don't even think about it.

"I don't have any friends," said the personable Scobey, laughing. "Really, I'm just frank with them. If I open one can of worms, I've got to open a bunch.

"I think people know to not bug me."

Saturday night, Scobey will have plenty of friends around him.

About 75,999.

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