Sunday, August 24 2014 12:56 AM EDT2014-08-24 04:56:42 GMT
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KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Saturday night's Tennessee-Florida game has been sold out for weeks, but that didn't stop fans and scalpers from buying and selling tickets right up until before kickoff.
But new rules about selling tickets near the stadium, combined with the excitement over the big game, made tickets hard to come by.
Driving down the strip and around campus, "Need Tickets" signs could be seen all over.
"It's rough right now, tickets are going for $400-500 a piece, [I'm] looking to spend a $150 a piece and you can't do it," said Vols fan Chris Hopkins.
Even scalpers were having a hard time getting their hands on tickets.
"It's a tough ticket. Everyone wants to go, no one wants to give it up. We've only got parking passes left," said Brent Walker, who's been buying and selling tickets for more than 10 years.
This year a new ban on scalping in front of Neyland Stadium and along the east side of Phillip Fulmer Way meant scalpers had to move their business elsewhere.
"They moved us away from the stadium, but it's good we're out here. Leave the people who are tailgating alone and do what we got to do," said Walker.
Most ticket sellers said they don't mind the new rule; they can do just as much business on The Strip.
"You want to catch people on their way into the game anyway. Besides, this is awesome, this is the best game I've seen in a while, good anticipation, so tickets are going for pretty good today," said Jerry Silers, who was selling tickets near Volunteer and Cumberland Ave.
Many fans walked up and down The Strip searching for the best prices.
"I will find them before game time," said Hopkins.
Even Florida fans were looking to score tickets.
"We just spent an arm and leg to get tickets but it's worth it. We spent $150 each, $600 total," said Savannah Newton, who drove up from Florida with friends.
But as the afternoon went on, the prices went up. Many fans though were willing to shell out big bucks to watch the Vols take on the Gators.
"I'll spend $250-300 to get her into the game," said Honsel Biliter, who wants his daughter to witness a win for the Big Orange.
The Biliters were able to find tickets for $100 a piece and they say it feels like they won the golden ticket.
"The best ones, four rows from the bottom!," shouted Biliter.