The fewer than 1,000 tickets available for Sunday's AFC championship game between the host Indianapolis Colts and the New England Patriots were gone in about five minutes when they went on sale Monday morning.
The sale began at 10 a.m. Monday at the RCA Dome ticket office and all Indiana Ticketmaster outlets.
A random-number distribution format determined the order of buyers. Several people who waited overnight did not get tickets because of the way in which tickets are made available. Each buyer had the opportunity to purchase up to six tickets.
Some people got in line very early Monday morning, braving the cold, steady rain, to get a wristband for their opportunity to snag some tickets to the game. Most were huddled under umbrellas, but some of them brought tents.
Many of the fans and some ticket brokers who waited hours for tickets walked away empty-handed. A small group of about 50 people were already at the dome at 5 a.m. About 1,600 wristbands were handed out just after 8 a.m. By 9:30 a.m., a sea of fans waited to hear if they would win. Tickets were priced between $80 and $395 each.
Stu Rose was the first to get tickets. He said it felt "pretty good" to have the tickets in his hand. A woman who was 14th in line for the wristband draw was among those who didn't get the chance to get tickets.
"I'm very disappointed, but it was worth the shot," she said.
The Patriots advanced to the AFC championship game by
beating the San Diego Chargers
over the weekend. A day earlier, the Colts advanced by
beating the Baltimore Ravens.
Patriots Are Familiar Foe
Sunday's Colts-Patriots playoff match-up will be a familiar one.
The playoff meeting will be the teams' third in four years. After the 2003 and 2004 regular seasons, the Patriots knocked the Colts out of the playoffs -- both times in Massachusetts -- and went on to win the Super Bowl.
However, the Colts have beaten the Patriots in Massachusetts in each of the last two regular seasons.
And this Sunday, instead of playing away, the Colts (AFC's No. 3 seed) will host the Patriots (AFC's No. 4 seed) at the RCA Dome, where Indianapolis was undefeated this regular season.
The AFC championship game will be the Colts' first in Indianapolis. The game's winner will play either the Chicago Bears or the New Orleans Saints in the Super Bowl.
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