Even with 3,600 tickets to the game still to be sold, Shreveport, La., has run out of room — literally.
Although Shreveport, a town of more than 200,000, has designated only 26 hotels for fans hoping to attend the Independence Bowl, all of the city’s 68 hotels are booked for the New Year’s Eve game.
“We are calling hotels twice a day to see if any rooms have opened up,” said Jennifer Adams of the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourism Bureau.
Of the 8,300 rooms available through the 68 hotels, 2,000 are reserved for gamblers attending New Year’s festivities in the area.
“It’s been a little bit of a drawback — the hotel situation,” said Marty Finn, ticket manager for MU’s Athletic Association.
MU was required to purchase 12,000 tickets for the Independence Bowl, which will be played at 6:30 p.m. Dec 31. By Dec. 9, MU had sold more than 4,000 tickets. As of Wednesday, 8,400 tickets were sold by MU. Arkansas has sold all 12,000 of its tickets. After MU sells 50 percent of its tickets, it makes a 50 percent profit on each ticket. The same applies to Arkansas.
Finn said that ticket sales were highest in the first several days. But he said sales have slowed, partly due to the lack of hotel rooms.
But Shreveport-area tourism workers said space usually becomes available.
“Our president has been here for 10 years, and every year rooms open up, even on game day,” Adams said.
The majority of tickets still available through the Athletic Association are in the end zone, for $25, or the last 10 rows of the stadium, for $35.
Finn said that ticket sales will continue until MU is sold out, and that the lack of hotel rooms might prevent MU from selling all of its tickets.
The Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourism Bureau is encouraging fans to make room reservations outside the metro area, about 30 to 45 minutes away, where rooms are still available. Adams said some hotels outside the metro area will be running a shuttle to the game.
For room reservations call 888-45-VISIT.
For tickets call 573-884-7297 or visit www.mutigers.com.