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Hot tickets

last look

Among the memorabilia in the athletics department archives is a collection of Yale Bowl football tickets. Like the more than 550 games played at the Bowl, the tickets have had varying degrees of artistic merit. Ticket design became standardized and bland in the late 1990s, but before then the designs changed as often as every few years. Sometimes important Elis were featured: patriot Nathan Hale, football great Walter Camp, Elihu Yale (top). Today, the tickets convey history lessons. The press-box tickets for the 1932 Chicago game and the 1933 Army game state, “No Ladies Admitted,” a prohibition that would persist until the mid-1950s.

“Saving your tickets is an easy way to preserve memories,” says sports archives assistant (and collector) Geoff Zonder. Of course, some contests are best forgotten. The fourth and fifth tickets are from the first game ever played at the Bowl. It drew a capacity crowd of 70,000, and to keep order at the event, Yale brought in “detectives,” who patrolled the stands and the sidelines. Alas, Harvard won, 36-0. The Yale Alumni Weekly, predecessor to this magazine, commented: “Yale furnished the Bowl and Harvard provided the punch.”


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