Tickets for UND-Minnesota matchup in Vegas top $2,000
GRAND FORKS—If you want to see the University of North Dakota men's hockey team face off against Minnesota in Las Vegas this fall, you might want to make your arrangements sooner rather than later—much sooner.
Tickets for the Oct. 27 U.S. Hall of Fame Game pitting the Fighting Hawks against the Gophers sold out just about immediately upon hitting the market last year. Tickets for the general public opened and closed within seconds at $99 a seat for the lower bowl of the Sin City's Orleans Arena. That initial offering was the highest single-game ticket price ever for a UND home hockey game, though it comes as quite a bargain now.
If you have some big pocket change lying around, seats are still available through websites like StubHub. Just be warned, they don't come cheap. The lowest-priced tickets on the site Monday, Feb. 19, are going for $600 apiece, while the most expensive are running at a hefty $2,100.
Getting into the game is just one chunk of the full amount fans will have to shell out to see the Hawks battle it out. Travelers flying direct to Las Vegas from Grand Forks will likely pay another pretty penny, with a round-trip sale offered by budget provider Allegiant Air costing about $660 for a trip from Thursday, Oct. 25, returning Sunday, Oct. 28.
The airline offers regular direct flights from Grand Forks to the gambling oasis that follow that same weekend timeframe, but the pricing for gameday is a standout. On most other weekends the flights total to somewhere between $200-$300.
An Allegiant representative said heavy travel weekends tend to push rates up a little higher than average for in-demand routes. In late October, that description will certainly apply to the airspace between Grand Forks and Las Vegas.
Bonnie Rygg Haley, president of Grand Forks agency Bon Voyage Travel Leaders, said her company chartered a plane about a year ago and "filled it immediately" with about 160 hockey fans. Now, within a year of gametime, Haley said Bon Voyage is still working with plenty of locals who already have their hockey tickets but still need to get to the game and into lodging.
"It's pretty tight, but we're still getting people down there," she said, adding that travel agents were checking in with regional air carriers "on a daily basis" to find space.