Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
PROVO — They brought their tarps, blankets and lawn chairs to camp outside of BYU's Marriott Center.
"There's kind of this big game tomorrow night," student Andrea Riggs said Tuesday. "We want to be there. We want to be a part of the action."
That big game: A showdown between ninth-ranked BYU and fourth-ranked San Diego State University in men's basketball Wednesday night.
The game is sold out to the public, but the Marriott Center is prepared to hand out colored and numbered wristbands as part of creating order for entry into the game. A total of 5,000 seats are reserved for students.
The university told students not to line up until noon on Tuesday, but students like Trent Boulter have been staking their spot in line for days and even camped out since 3 a.m. Tuesday.
"We even formed ourselves into a line based on who was here first, and then anyone that came afterwards just kept coming into the back of the line," says Boulter. "And now it's just turning into this mass exodus pushing up into the barricade.
Despite the instructions from university officials, many students planned their strategies to grab those coveted game tickets despite the rules — and a bit of chaos ensued Tuesday morning when the students who had camped out were told their line would not be honored.
BYU Police Lt. Arnie Lemmon said that while the students were breaking the rules by waiting in line in the first place, at this point, there isn't much that can be done
Eventually, the overnight line was honored and students were given wristbands. But the chaos won't end there.
"We're going to have different people on this side, we're going to have different people on that side," said student Peter Hayward. "We're going to try to get different seats all throughout the student section.
Students are not allowed to save seats once they enter the arena, but some students have a strategy to get around that rule, too.
"We can sit really, really wide so then we can try to wedge us all into a small area as possible," said Hayward.
Lemmon said there's only so much law and order that can be accomplished in a situation like this.
"We'll deal with it. It's their ball game," said Lemmon. "We're going to make it as pleasurable as possible, but we're going to maintain order."
Student All-Sport Pass holders will be admitted on a first-come, first-served basis. Students must bring their All-Sport Card to get a wristband and to enter the game.
For more information on student admission into the game, go to www.BYUCougars.com.
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