Although a number of students will be watching this weekend”s football games from the comfort of their couches back home, many rearranged their trips back to school to attend Saturday”s sold-out Michigan-Ohio State football game.
“A lot of people seem to be going home tomorrow and will be back for the game,” said LSA sophomore Calvin Bell, a wide receiver on the football team. “The game is for the Big Ten championship and it”s against OSU. It”s huge!”
The significance of the game persuaded first-year Law student Scott Minder to plan an early drive back from his Thanksgiving Day festivities.
“I would stay at home if it wasn”t the Ohio State game,” Minder said. “I”m from Grand Rapids, so it”s just a quick drive.”
For many other students, the game made them hesitate a little in deciding to stay home, but ultimately they decided not to come back.
“Earlier this year, I was interested in finding a ticket, but I was more interested in spending some Q.T. (quality time) with the family,” said LSA senior Juan Buford, who will be at home in Detroit for the holiday break.
LSA sophomore Lindsey Strieter said she too has chosen to stay home.
“I hesitated a little bit, but would much rather go home,” said Strieter, who will be traveling to California. “My friends who live around here are coming back, but everyone who lives out of state is going home.”
For many out-of-state students, this will be the first time they”ve been home since the start of the semester.
“I”m ready to go home,” said LSA freshman Justin Kleeberg, who is from Williamsville, N.Y. “I definitely thought about (staying), but I haven”t been home since August, so I sold my ticket to my big brother in my fraternity for $20.”
Kleeberg said he felt that he should sell the ticket for equal value because it was his fraternity brother. Other students, however, are selling pairs of tickets on eBay for upwards of $170 each. Michigan law prohibits ticket sales for more than face value.
“I sold my ticket for $60,” said Sara, an LSA senior, who did not want her last name to be printed. “I”m from D.C. and I don”t want to come back.”
Despite the number of students going home, University Director of Ticket Operations Marty Bodnar said tickets sales are going well.
“The game is sold out, except for the last remaining single tickets,” he said. “We”ll figure out the actual attendance on Saturday.”
The last time Ohio State came to the Big House on Thanksgiving day weekend was in 1985, when 106,102 fans packed into the stadium before renovations added nearly 6,000 seats. At that time, the stadium”s capacity was 101,701.
The Wolverines defeated the Buckeyes, 27-17, in that game.
Students still looking for tickets for this weekend”s game may find it more difficult because of this year”s drop in student ticket sales, which the Athletic Department has partially blamed on the scheduling of this week”s game.
“We can only conjecture that having the OSU game on Thanksgiving affected the student ticket demand,” Bodnar said. Student ticket sales this year dropped from 22,000 tickets sold last year to 19,600.
“I”m still looking for tickets,” said LSA senior Kristen Korytkowski, who has friends coming in from Boston for the game. “I”m a senior and it”s my last one. I made sure that I had all day off.”