COLUMBIA — SOLD OUT! These words were repeated over and over Monday after MU’s allotment of 16,000 tickets for the 2008 AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic sold out within two hours of going on sale at 8 a.m.
Within hours, the University of Arkansas and the Cotton Bowl Athletic Association also sold out of tickets.
For fans desperate for seats, tickets can be found — for a price. Web sites such as seatexchange.com and craigslist.com are selling tickets for up to $350.
“Six thousand went fast,” said Chad Moller, spokesman for the Missouri Athletic Department. “Ten thousand were pre-ordered by scholarship donors and season ticket holders.”
Though Missourians will likely have seen their first snow by game day, it could be toasty in Dallas. On New Year’s Day in 2006, Dallas hit a record high of 82 degrees. Typically, the city sees highs in the mid-50s around the turn of the year.
For the thousands of Missouri fans who will travel to Dallas for the festivities, there are many travel options to chose from: planes, trains, automobiles and buses.
* Flights on orbitz.com that leave New Year’s Eve and return Jan. 2 range from $160 to $623 from St. Louis and $107 to $594 from Kansas City.
* Amtrak offers a train from St. Louis that departs on Dec. 30 for a 16-hour trip costing $86 to $108. The return trip leaves mid-afternoon on Jan. 2 and arrives in St. Louis early the next morning.
* According to mapquest.com, driving to Dallas takes about 10 hours. With gas averaging $2.99 a gallon, a road trip could cost $145 round trip if you get 25 miles to the gallon.
* Prefer a bus? Greyhound offers a round-trip ride with flexible departure times from St. Louis for $226 to $256 and from Kansas City for $186 to $226.
For game goers, the Missouri Alumni Association is partnering with Dodds Athletic Tours and Great Southern Travel to provide package deals for Missouri fans.
“The trip to San Antonio this past weekend took about 215 people and went really well,” said Todd McCubbin, executive director of the Missouri Alumni Association. “The prestige of the bowl and the Tigers playing on New Year’s Day is drawing people’s attention.”
Depending on how many people share a hotel room, the alumni association’s Tiger Deluxe package ranges from $1,399 to $1,759 per adult for air travel. A similar package for those who don’t need plane tickets costs between $889 and $1,249 per adult.
The packages include three nights’ hotel accommodations at the Hilton Anatole, where the team is staying, and an exclusive Mizzou Tigers New Year’s Eve party. Both packages also include a Mizzou spirit rally with the MU marching band, athletic department and cheerleaders; a Mizzou Tigers tailgate party; and deluxe motorcoach transportation to and from pre-game festivities and the Cotton Bowl. A game ticket is also included.
There are about 335 people registered for the tour so far, McCubbin said. “People are pretty excited about it.”
On Monday there were still several lodging options open close to the Cotton Bowl. The Hotel Indigo-Dallas Downtown is located 2.1 miles away from the stadium, and rooms range from $189 to $229 per night. The La Quinta Inn Dallas Grand Prairie ranges from $39 to $64 per night and is 13.5 miles from the Cotton Bowl.
Though tickets are rare, parking passes are plentiful. Passes are priced at $20 for cars and $30 for RV’s, plus $20 for overnight stay.
“Parking passes are not sold out,” said Tammy Ricks, an employee of the Cotton Bowl Ticket Office. “But people will be directing you if you do not have a parking pass.”
The RV parking lot will open Sunday, Dec. 30, at 1 p.m. and will close at noon on Jan. 2. Passes are available through the Cotton Bowl ticket office at 214-638-BOWL or toll-free at 888-792-BOWL.