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Portland: Where Playoff Ticket Refugee Camps Happen

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It's about 3:30AM as I type this. A little more than an hour ago, I checked the ole twitter to see what the insomniacs were up to.  Lo and behold, BE reader Pete sent word that he was roughly 260 people deep in a line outside the Rose Quarter for playoff tickets.  

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Inspired by Pete's Blazermania, I drove back down to the Rose Garden to scope the scene for myself.  

It was a big, giant, disgusting, beautiful mess.  "I Got Five On It" boomed from a stereo; 2 dozen young men engaged in a pavement football game; a lot of people slept; card tables were set up; mostly people looked bored.  Because, you know, it was almost 3 o'clock in the freaking morning.

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Click through for more incredibly powerful pictures.

The kicker: playoff tickets don't actually go on sale until noon.  And tickets might run out before many of the people pictured here even have the chance to buy them.  Those in line planned to buy the tickets for personal use and also to re-sell.  One man quipped, "I'd trade these tickets for a job, know what I mean."  Indeed, rumor circulated earlier that night that the first squatters appeared outside the Rose Quarter office more than 24 hours before the tickets actually went on sale.  

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And to those of you who say, "The Memorial Coliseum is useless!" I reply, "It's never looked better." Haha.
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The line stretched from the Rose Quarter box office along the entire face of the Memorial Coliseum...

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... before wrapping around and doubling back.

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This is Pete, the BE reading twitter hero...

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... and here are some of the very earliest arrivals.

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This wasn't planted (by me, anyway).

I might never have felt greater pride as a Portlander than I do right now as I type this. 

Every single person in that line deserves a standing ovation.

-- Ben (benjamin.golliver@gmail.com)