PC at Brown - The Toughest Ticket In Town!
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Tickets have yet to go on sale for a game that is more than four months away, and yet it is still proving to be the toughest ticket in town.
At 7pm on Friday, December 28, the Providence College men’s basketball team will do something that it has never done before – play the Brown University men’s basketball team at Brown’s Pizzitola Sports Center.
While neither school has officially released their men’s basketball schedules for the upcoming season, this is a game that most of Rhode Island already knows about and the buzz for the game is palpable.
Sufficeth to say, if I had a dime for every time someone has asked me about tickets for that game, I may not be rich but I’d have a pretty good chunk of change on my hands.
The two most asked questions by both PC and Brown fans are:
1.) Why is PC playing at Brown this year?
2.) How can I get tickets for that game?
Let’s tackle question #1 first. Why has Providence decided to play a road game at Brown when they have hosted the Bears at the Dunk (formerly the Civic Center) for the last 40 years?
Back in the day, these two programs used to meet twice each year with the Bears playing at PC’s Alumni Hall and the Friars visiting Brown’s Marvel Gym. That all changed when the Providence Civic Center opened downtown in 1972. Starting with the 72-73 season, Brown and Providence continued to play twice each season, but both games were at the Civic Center with each school hosting one game.
That senario changed following the formation of the Big East Conference in 1979. Beginning with the 1980-81 campaign, the two schools would meet just once per season. They would alternate who would be the home team annually until 1987 when the Friars began a stretch of 22 consecutive games as the host team in the series, a streak that will be broken on December 28.
Brown’s Pizzitola Sports center opened in the spring of 1989 and has an official capacity listed at 2,800 on the school’s website www.brownbears.com. Never, in the history of the Pizz, has Providence stepped onto the Williams Court inside that building to play the Bears. That is, until this winter.
How did the game wind up at Brown? “It’s my understanding that Providence called us because they had an imbalance in their schedule as far as home and road games so they asked us if they could play at Brown this year,” said Bears’ first-year head coach Mike Martin.
Needless to say, Martin is thrilled with the idea of having the Friars inside the Bears’ den. “This will be a great night for our program being able to host Providence at Brown,” he said. “We wish our students could be on campus to enjoy it too, but none-the-less it should be a great atmosphere and environment that our players will enjoy.”
The 2,800 fans who are lucky enough to score tickets to this unique event will get to be a part of that great atmosphere Martin eluded to. But how can fans get their hands on the select few tickets that will be available to that game?
GoLocalProv.com has learned that the first group in line for tickets will be Brown season ticket holders. Those fans will obviously have a ticket to the game as part of their season ticket package.
Next in line will be those fans who take advantage of a promotional package to be offered by Brown University whereby tickets for the PC game will be sold as part of a 4-pack of Brown home games. The other three games to be included in that 4-pack have yet to be determined. However, they will likely include two other Friday night home games which would not conflict with either Providence or URI. A fourth game may be the Bears’ contest against Division 3 opponent – Johnson & Wales.
If there are still tickets available for the PC game after those first two options have been exhausted, then single tickets for the game would be made available to the public.
Also, as is customary when a team goes on the road, Providence would likely be able to put together a small list of those from the school and their fan base that they would like to have tickets held for behind their bench.
For those who have been to Brown’s Pizzitola Sports Center for a men’s basketball game that is sold out, it is quite an atmosphere. In fact, back when Martin was a player at Brown, the Bears regularly played in front of a packed house when Penn and Princeton came to town.
Martin was actually a hero at the Pizz his senior year (2003-2004) against the Quakers when it appeared that the Bears were dead in the water. Down 4 with seconds to play, teammate Jamie Kilburn drove to the basket, scored and was fouled. Down by two with just over a second remaining, Glen Miller instructed Kilburn to intentionally miss the free throw, which he did. Martin picked up the offensive rebound and put it in as time expired sending the game to overtime where the Bears would eventually prevail.
Will the December 28 match-up provide that same type of excitement? Only time will tell. But the toughest ticket in town is being highly sought after by many college basketball fans in Rhode Island.