Thursday, February 24, 2011
To passersby, the area around Viejas Arena might resemble something closer to a refugee camp, but to students waiting for tickets to Saturday’s game against BYU, it’s known as “Fisherville.”
Throngs of tired-looking students were scattered around most of the Viejas Arena complex. Many sat bundled up, waiting for their friends throughout the day, as each one took a “shift” while their friends were in class or at work.
"It's really fun actually; it's kind of like communal,” said senior Erin Vierra. “You, like, meet new people and everyone's got each others' backs for stuff. And so you just, I don't know, like I said, it really just brings the school together -- it's nice."
Tickets weren't originally scheduled to be available until 4 p.m. tomorrow. But the line was so long that university officials announced this afternoon that they would distribute tickets beginning at 7:30 tomorrow morning.
Some students were waiting in line since early Tuesday morning. The students camped out in "Fisherville," fully prepared to wait for days. They brought everything -- from mattresses, sleeping bags and tarps, to food and laptops.
Most students weren't able to connect to any type of power source, but a few sneaky ones were able to scout out outlets to plug in laptops and electric blankets.
David Leyva, who had waited in line for tickets since 7 p.m. Wednesday, looked relaxed in an inflatable boat and used his laptop to work on homework.
“I got it last year for "Floatopia" and I had actually slept on it occasionally, just by dumb luck, and I found it was pretty useful and didn’t want it to go to waste,” Leyva said. “So I figured today would be the perfect day for it.”
Spending time in line for tickets is more than a waiting game for these students. Supporters and basketball team members have stopped by to provide food and water bottles to the students. Tonight there will be a DJ and pizza for students as part of the university’s program “Aztec Nights.”
However, by midday, students just starting to get in line were unsure as to whether they would get tickets. The university only provides 2,500 student tickets and each student can pick up two.
At around 11:30 a.m., freshmen Britney Castanza and Cory Detweiler were the last two people in line. They decided to go on a whim and weren’t sure if their time in line would be fruitful. “Yeah, we’re smack at the end.” But just 30 minutes later there were five more people behind them.
“I don’t know if it’s worth it, they might just want to go home,” said senior Laura Rodriguez. She was much closer to the front of the line and confident that she would snag a couple of seats for the game.
“I mean, I don’t know, I haven’t walked all the way down. But I think if you’re not up in here in this area you’re probably not getting a ticket.”