Mizzou NCAA Ticket System Leaves Many Fans Out of Choices

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COLUMBIA - General admission tickets to Mizzou's opening game in the NCAA tournament were sold out early, and those looking to buy from MU's pool of 500 found it hard Monday to get seats. MU Athletics began sales of those tickets in the morning, but only to a select group of the highest level athletic donors.

The system for purchasing tickets left many fans without the opportunity to go see the games at the Centurylink Center in Omaha. The three other teams playing during the same session as Mizzou's also were allotted 500 tickets per team.  The Centurylink Center holds around 17,000 fans. The remaining tickets, not alloted to the participating schools, are already sold out from the general public.

Athletic Departmant Director of Strategic Communications Emily Janssen said, "We first assign tickets for the team, players, coaches, staff, our athletic department, the team's travel party, and the other folks who come with us to every basketball game."

The donors in the highest level of the 2011 Tiger Scholarship Fund get to purchase a maximum of two tickets at $89 each.  The members of this donor group have given $10,000 or more to the scholarship fund.

If Missouri wins Friday afternoon, those ticket holders will automatically be charged to see the Tigers play the winner of Florida and Virgina.  That game would be played on Sunday.

With the university's limited number of tickets already committed to a specific group of donors, and other general admission tickets to the Centurylink Center already sold out, other fans are almost out of luck with seeing the Tigers play in Omaha.

Herb Panko is a Mizzou sports fan who said he will be doing business near Omaha at the end of the week.  He went to Mizzou Arena to see about purchasing tickets, but left empty-handed.

"I was very disappointed to learn that there are no tickets available to the general public, but only to those who are high-end donors," said Panko.  "I guess I'll just plan on going up and there, stop, and try to find some cheap tickets.  If not, at least I'll be around some Mizzou fans."

Through email, students were told they could enter a ticket lottery for a chance to go buy the tickets in Omaha. Those tickets will sell for $89 each. Senior Robert Allen said the tickets are pretty expensive when considering other Mizzou sports.

"The entire Mizzou basketball and football ticket package costs around $200," said Allen.  "I wasn't going to spend around $200 for the tickets, food, and gas money."

As of Monday afternoon, the amount of tickets available to the Director's Level of the 2011 Tiger Scholarship Fund had very few remaining.  Some fans may consider searching for tickets being sold over online ticket purchasing websites.

The Missouri Tigers play the Norfolk State Spartans at 3:40 p.m. on Friday.