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No matter the bowl, Bear fans hungry for tickets

– Bowl bids won't go out for a few days yet, but Cal Bears fans dreaming of roses are already jockeying for tickets and hoping they wind up in Pasadena.

Cal helmet vs. ??But it's not as easy as getting up early to stand in line. In fact, there won't be any lines to purchase bowl tickets; that's all being handled online. For now, only season ticket holders and Athletic Department donors can request bowl tickets. Cal Athletics has crafted an intricate grid of priorities to determine who can request how many tickets, based on type of season ticket and donor status; details are on the calbears.com/bowl website.

Ticket requests must be placed before midnight on Friday, Dec. 3. Cal plays its final regular season football game the next day, Saturday, at Southern Mississippi. Then, at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 5, invitations to the Bowl Championship Series will be announced, and the Golden Bears will learn whether they have landed a spot in the coveted Rose Bowl against Michigan on New Year's Day, or will be headed to a different bowl destination.

(Ordering tickets before bowl invitations are announced isn't quite a Catch-22; when placing their orders, purchasers get to specify which bowl - or bowls - they're interested in attending.)

For students, the "which bowl?" uncertainty will be erased, but they'll need a quick finger on the mouse. Student bowl tickets will go on sale at 12:01 a.m. Monday, the day after bowl bids are announced. All sales will again be online. Only students who purchased season tickets - or freshmen and transfer students who registered for free season tickets - are eligible, and they can only purchase one bowl ticket each, while supplies last. Each class has a single day to purchase tickets: Monday is for seniors, juniors and grad students; Tuesday is for sophomores, and Wednesday is for freshmen. Details have been e-mailed to eligible students, and can be reviewed at calbears.com.

Then there's the little matter of price. The cost of tickets depends on which bowl the Bears play in, so it won't be officially announced until Sunday. But of the likely bowl destinations, Rose Bowl tickets go for $125 each, the Fiesta Bowl charges $85 and up, Orange Bowl tickets are expected to be in the $150 range, or fans can attend the Holiday Bowl for a mere $30-$70.

If there are any tickets left over after this elaborate dance, they will go on sale to the general public online at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 14. Or for those willing to chance the wait, the Athletic Ticket office will open for phone orders at 8:30 that morning.

As a last resort for fans with deep pockets, there are already (as-yet-hypothetical) tickets for sale on Craig's List and eBay, for anywhere from $250 per Rose Bowl seat to $1,600 for a package with two tickets and a Pasadena hotel room.