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Thursday, July 12, 2012
Hoyas-Gators naval tickets won't be cheap

By Eamonn Brennan

So you're a fan of Florida. Or you're a Georgetown die-hard. You've got to be stoked for November, right?

That's when your team will face off in a season-opening game aboard a U.S. Navy warship at the Naval Station Mayport in Jacksonville, Fla., -- one of three military-themed season-opening events on the coming college hoops calendar. You saw the Carrier Classic last season. You think the 2012 version could be a great experience for your family and friends, or at least a great excuse for a getaway in November. You would very much like to attend.

Here's the good news: Unlike the Carrier Classic, which restricted ticket sales almost entirely to members of the armed forces (and doled out any remainders in a you've-got-to-know-someone-important manner) it is indeed possible to buy tickets for the Florida-Georgetown game on Nov. 9. The bad news: Those tickets will cost at least $1,000, and they include a ticket to the Thursday, Nov. 8 Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Indianapolis Colts NFL game whether you like it or not.

According to a press release issued by Georgetown on Thursday, military rules and regulations on active bases prevent the sale of individual tickets on a military base. Instead, the schools are selling "sponsorship packages" in partnership with the city of Jacksonville and the Jaguars. The packages start at $1,000, which includes "two basketball game passes, four tickets for military personnel and two personal tickets to the Jaguars vs. Colts game and VIP access to related events."

But that's just the "bottom package." On Tuesday, executive director of sports and entertainment for the City of Jacksonville Alan Verlander told a Jacksonville radio station packages will range in price up to $50,000. That's, like, a down payment on a house. The money will go to a good cause, of course -- part of the package structure is subsidization of the armed forces personnel in the audience --  but even so, $50,000 for a basketball game, or even a two-day "event," seems mind-boggling.

Throw in the fact that Georgetown fans probably couldn't care less about the Jacksonville Jaguars -- come to think of it, are we sure Florida fans care about the Jacksonville Jaguars? -- and it's hard to foresee many folks being willing to splash this sort of cash, students especially. Much like the NFL itself, unless you've got serious cake to burn, this event may be better viewed in the comforts of one's own home.