If you were planning your Fall travel around attending the UNC v. Michigan State game on Veterans Day on the yet unannounced aircraft carrier in San Diego Bay, you might want to change your plans.
In short, there will be no ticket sales. That would be NONE.
The crowd for the game will be made up of approximately 4,000 military personnel who will be invited to the event. According to AP, “iIf you’re real tight with either school, you might have a fighting chance.”
Otherwise, a seat in front of a TV is going to be the only way to see the first NCAA hoops game to be played on a flat top.
Organizer Mike Whalen of Morale Entertainment Foundation said tickets won’t be sold to the public. They’ll be free to those lucky enough to be chosen, and scalpers will be out of luck. Whalen said ticket holders’ names will be printed on the front, and ID must match.
“It makes sure that the right people are going to the game and that there’s no aftermarket,” Whalen said Monday. “It’s an added measure of security. Again, this is a United States warship. We’ve got to make sure we know who’s coming onboard the ship.”
Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson are expected to be the honorary captains, so we presume they will have tickets.
For obvious reasons, organizers won’t know until much closer to the Nov. 11 game which aircraft carrier will serve as host. It probably will be the USS Ronald Reagan or the USS Carl Vinson, said Whalen, who’s spent time in San Diego meeting with Navy officials.
A court and stadium seating will be set up on the flight deck. In case of rain, the game will be moved below to the hangar deck, with bleacher seating for the fans.
Each school will get 750 tickets, 400 will go to coaches participating in a clinic and 1,000 will go to the Morale Entertainment Foundation and its partners: the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, Wounded Warrior Project and the San Diego Air & Space Museum.
Although the teams’ travel expenses will be paid by organizers, each school is giving up a home date—and the money it would have made. Whalen said talks with ESPN to broadcast the game should be finalized this week. Tipoff will be shortly after 4 p.m. San Diego time.
The game was the idea of Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis. Al Kidd and the San Diego Sports Commission approached Morale Entertainment Foundation about helping to stage it.