In Montana, no sporting event generates more excitement than the annual college football game between the University of Montana Grizzlies and the Montana State Bobcats.
This year, the game is receiving national attention from the ESPN pregame show College Gameday, and ticket prices have skyrocketed to insane levels. Tickets sold out early on Monday and left fans from around the state scrambling to find tickets on resale sites.
Chad Bykonen of Billings is an avid football fan and has lived in Montana his entire life, but he's never been to the Brawl of the Wild. That'll change this weekend.
“It’s a bucket list!" Bykonen said. "Over the years both Montana teams have been superior."
Bykonen managed to find a buyer before College Gameday announced they would be visiting the Treasure State, and he's happy he did.
“After the announcement of Gameday coming, it became a huge commodity in this state,” Bykonen said.
As of Wednesday afternoon, tickets were still available on the secondary market, but the cheapest one MTN could find was for $225, and that was standing room only. The cheapest price for an actual seat would cost $261, and the most expensive ticket was a whopping $1,350.
Dawn Achten of Billings was among the many hoping to make some cash by selling their tickets to Saturday's game. She said the rush for tickets was like she's never seen before.
“I’m still getting messages today," Achten said Wednesday. "‘Did you sell those tickets? Did you sell those tickets?’ And yes, my tickets are sold."
Achten owns Bobcats season tickets, and she sells her tickets to the rivalry game every year to help pay for the price of the season tickets in the following year.
“Our goal was just to sell our tickets to make the season, so we did that," Achten said. "Once Gameday came, then it was a whole different story."
Unfortunately, Achten sold her tickets before the Gameday announcement on Sunday. She's feeling a little bit of buyer's remorse and she's not alone.
“We could’ve probably made more money off our tickets, but that's okay," Achten said.
Bykonen had a similar experience, only from the other side of the transaction.
“We ended up getting a little message back that they wanted to buy them back," Bykonen said.
It's a big game with big stakes — both on the field and online — with tickets in high demand.
"It’s always a good game between the two of them whether they’re doing well or not,” Achten said.