Hundreds of people camped out or showed up to Joint Base Lewis-McChord's Leisure Travel Services last weekend to try and purchase highly sought after 2013 Seattle Seahawks home game tickets.
"Camping out the night before was a first-time experience for me and one I wouldn't mind doing again," said Staff Sgt. Michael Hank, an infantry soldier with I Corps. "It wasn't really like we were just waiting around; it was more like a 20-hour tailgate party."
If you drove by the JBLM mini-mall area on Friday or Saturday, then you probably saw dozens of tents and hundreds of people waiting in line.
If you hadn't heard, JBLM's MWR Leisure Travel Services (LTS) was one of the last locations with available 2013 Seattle Seahawks home game tickets.
"This is a great opportunity from the Seahawks organization to provide military-only tickets," Hank said. "With our schedule, we don't have the same opportunities to compete with the general public when their regular season tickets go on sale."
LTS had a total of 1,200 tickets available for the entire season, which were offered on a first-come, first-served basis. A maximum of six tickets were available per active-duty ID cardholder.
"I know it's hard to make everyone happy, but these soldiers deserve an opportunity to purchase Seahawks tickets," said LTS Director and retired soldier Mickey Peebles. "Soldiers and their families at least have a chance to enjoy a football game, and it's a lot less expensive than any other purchasing price."
Nearly all who showed up got at least one game ticket, with the 49ers and Saints primetime home game tickets the most sought after.
"This is our 10th year doing this, and we are proud to be large-quantity season ticket holders so we can provide this great opportunity to soldiers," Peebles said.
The MWR Seahawk Ticket Camp Out was a smooth-running success.
"There were no major distractions and we appreciate the soldiers for that," Peebles said. "Although some Servicemembers were disappointed about not getting their desired tickets, most everyone in line was able to purchase tickets to at least one game."
Three hundred level tickets were available for $70, while the lower 100 level tickets were available for $95. Tickets for the lower 100 level are currently being priced on StubHub.com between $500 and $1,000.
Seahawk regular season home tickets were available for the 49ers (home season opener and Sunday Night Primetime game); Jaguars; Titans; Buccaneers; Vikings (Seahawks Salute to Service Game); Saints (Monday Night Primetime game); and Cardinals. The Hawks will end the season once again against the Rams.
Many Seahawks fans still remember the win-to-go-in to the playoffs season-ending game versus the Rams two years ago.
There are limited tickets still available for the Oakland Raiders preseason game only.
Leisure Travel Services offers a variety of services including event and attraction tickets, including Seattle Mariners and the Seattle Sounders games, trips and reservations services.
LTS is located on JBLM in building 2275 at AFC Arena, next to the main door.