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About 1,000 people crowded the Conseco Fieldhouse box office this morning in an attempt to once again get free tickets for a Lucas Oil Stadium tour.
The 20,000 tickets, also being distributed online at 10 a.m., were gone in within 20 minutes, leaving many in line grumbling.
The latest tour was added to the Aug. 16 Lucas Oil Stadium Grand Opening slate late last week after 80,000 tickets for four free tours were gone in a little over an hour.
Dana Orange, 37 and Tim Luke, 40, both of Indianapolis, turned up at the Fieldhouse at 6 p.m. last night and were the first people in line.
The Fieldhouse didn’t open to let people in until 6:30 this morning, so Orange and Luke, along with many others, had to wait out the night outside, electrical storm and all.
“We huddled, but we stayed,” said Orange.
Orange and Luke didn’t go out last week to get the original tour tickets, but after hearing about the new tour, they decided to try to this batch.
Orange waited in line to get tickets for herself, Luke and her parents, Lawrence and Marilyn Orange. Orange’s father is recovering from and intestinal surgery.
“This should be a nice little present for him,” said Orange.
When 9:55 a.m. hit and the ticket sellers opened their blinds, the sleepy, reclining line snaking through and outside the Fieldhouse stirred and cheered.
Twenty minutes later, the line booed when Fieldhouse security announced that all 20,000 tickets were gone.
Hundreds of people, some who had been waiting outside the box office since 8 a.m., were turned away as the sellers shut their blinds and security began to mill around the ticket windows to keep the crowds from getting too worked up.
Tickets were limited to four per person this week, after last week’s limit of eight meant that tickets went faster with many ending up for sale on eBay.
Still, with everyone in line getting the maximum of four tickets and the whole pool of tickets being available online, the tickets went too fast for waiting people to finish getting in the doors.
One woman, Krystal Hubble, 43, of Indianapolis, was near the head of the line when security announced that the tickets were gone.
“I’m not leaving yet,” declared Hubble as some in the line started to leave.
Hubble went to the Fieldhouse last Monday to try for tickets to the first tours, but when she showed up at 11:15 a.m., all the tickets were gone.
She decided to wait at the box office this morning for “another fifteen minutes” before giving up on them opening another tour.
“We’ll take one ticket,” she yelled toward the shaded ticket windows, and the crowd behind her muttered in agreement. “We don’t need four!”
At about 10:30, Peggy Gamlin, 58, of Indianapolis, made her way up to the box office to check if the four tickets she had just bought on a corner from a scalper for $25 were authentic.
The box office couldn’t ensure the authenticity of the tickets, though they looked like those that had been given away just fifteen minutes before.
“I wouldn’t get to see it unless I paid for a free ticket,” said Gamlin.
10:24 AM -- Tour fans weather storm
About 600 people were gathered at the Conseco Fieldhouse box office Downtown Tuesday morning for the chance to get up to four free tickets for the Lucas Oil Stadium tour Aug. 16.
Dana Orange, 37, Indianapolis was the first in line at 6 p.m. Monday. She stayed through the thunderstorm.
“We huddled, but we stayed,” Orange said. “We appreciate them doing this the second time around for die-hard fans.”
-- Bess Davis
10:16 AM -- Free stadium tour tickets going fast today
Tickets for what is expected to be the last pre-opening public tour of Lucas Oil Stadium appeared to be going fast this morning.
About 10:10 a.m. this morning, the Web site of ticketmaster.com appeared to have few if any passes left for any of the four tour times, of 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
A check of all four time slots for four tickets prompted a message from Ticketmaster saying, "We couldn't find tickets that matched your request."
The tickets became available online at 10 a.m., as well as at the Conseco Fieldhouse box office.
Mayor Greg Ballard requested adding the fifth tour, which will take place at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 16, because of the huge demand. Unlike tickets for the earlier tours, these are limited to four a person.
The Indiana Stadium and Convention Building Authority had originally made available 60,000 free tickets for three tours. But those tickets were snapped up in less than a half-hour Aug. 14. The authority quickly added another tour, but those 20,000 tickets were also snatched within an hour.
And almost as soon as those tickets were gone, some fans began selling them online, much to the dismay of the stadium authority.
The new tour, like the others, will allow the public to take a self-guided look at areas such as suites and the locker room, as well as walk on the field and purchase refreshments from the new concession stands.