SEATTLE - Seahawks fans had little chance to secure one of a handful of tickets to the NFC championship game before they sold out on Ticketmaster. But 49ers fans had even less of a chance.
The ticket outlet tells KOMO News the Seahawks would not allow seats to be sold to anyone with a California billing address.
"Some teams choose to 'geo-locate,'" says Jacqueline Peterson with Ticketmaster. "That is, make the tickets available to fans within a certain area."
Peterson says Ticketmaster sold NFC championship tickets only to fans with billing addresses in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, Hawaii, and the Canadian provinces of B.C. and Alberta.
The Seahawks confirmed that with a posting on the team's website: "Tickets will be available to fans with a billing address in WA, OR, MT, ID, AK, HI and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Alberta."
Peterson says the policy ensures that local fans have the best opportunity to get the tickets.
But 49ers fans weren't too happy about being shut out, judging by some of the comments on SFGate.com. Here's a sample:"So much for "sportsmanship" and fair play. Obviously Seattle's decision makers need to go to drastic measures to get an edge in next Sunday's game."
"I think this means that Seattle is not used to a prime-time matchup; this just makes them look like amateurs."
"Seattle the ultimate San Francisco wannabee, Seattle should change its name to Cowardice Washington, nothing further."
"Damn Seahawks are scared........They want to gather as much of their fans as possible so they can feel safe, Get over it Seattle......Were coming for you Seasocks....Niners are going for another NFC Championship......Should be an epic game."
"The Seahawks apparently realized that their own fan base is just not strong enough to fill their own stadiums without some drastic measure.."
Of course, the policy won't stop 49er fans from attending the game at CenturyLink Field. Plenty of tickets will change hands via the usual online resellers including the official NFL Ticket Exchange.
As of noon Monday, prices on the exchange ranged from $390 to $7,334.
Ticketmaster operates the NFL Ticket Exchange.