About 145 Shocker fans will take a charter flight to Los Angeles to root for the men’s basketball team in the Sweet 16, the Wichita State University Alumni Association said.
By Tim Potter and Stan Finger
The Wichita Eagle
The charter was full by Monday. About 60 other people were interested in booking a second charter flight, but that wasn’t enough to meet the minimum number of passengers needed by Monday afternoon, said Connie White, spokeswoman for the Alumni Association.
E-mail notices will be sent out to the individuals who called Premiere Global Sports to show interest in the second charter, which would have been hosted by the Alumni Association.
“We’re doing all we can do to get as many Shocker fans to L.A. to cheer on our Shockers to the Final Four,” said Debbie Kennedy, president and CEO of the Alumni Association, in an e-mail.
Each school in the Sweet 16 has been allotted 1,250 tickets. Kansas had sold out its allotment for Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, where it will play Michigan on Friday.
“Those tickets have been spoken for for several weeks,” said Jim Marchiony, KU associate athletics director.
The tickets cost $150 or $200 depending on location in the stadium, he said.
Single session tickets are still available and start at $40, while all-session tickets begin at $70. Tickets can be purchased to the South Regional games at www.NCAA.com/mbbtickets.
Wichita State had sold more than 700 tickets as of early Monday afternoon. The all-session tickets — which includes the semifinal games Thursday and Saturday — vary from $200 to $250, depending on their location in the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Shocker fans are pretty excited after wins over Pitt and top-ranked Gonzaga propelled Wichita State into the Sweet 16, said Jarret Abell, a graduate assistant in the Shocker ticker office.
Jerry Aaron, a 1963 WSU graduate, and his wife, Janis, wouldn’t miss the charter plane trip to L.A.
“We were sick that we weren’t able to go to Salt Lake City,” Aaron said. “After what they pulled off in Salt Lake City, we said, ‘No way we’re not going’ ” to Los Angeles.
“You have to follow the dream. Now, the stars are aligned,” he said.
“The real fun part of these trips is the camaraderie of the fans ... It starts the minute you set foot on the plane.”
Tickets for the West Regional were not available on the NCAA website Monday. StubHub was offering tickets for Thursday night’s session starting at $94 for both games, and tickets for both the semifinals and finals starting at $174.
PrimeSport was advertising tickets starting at $265 online for Thursday night’s games and tickets for both Thursday and Saturday ranging from $315 to $360.
TicketLiquidator, meanwhile, was advertising all-session tickets ranging in prices from $175 to $8,669.
Flights from Wichita to Los Angeles were available on Monday afternoon starting at $761, for fans flying out Wednesday and returning on Sunday.