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Fans in Detroit brave cold, long lines for free tickets

DETROIT -- When Brent Stanton heard free tickets were going to be given away for the New York Giants-Minnesota Vikings game, he drove 10 hours on "awful roads" from Milwaukee to Detroit to get some.

No such luck. And he said no to some guy he said was selling the once-free tickets for $100 each.

"That's insane," the 23-year-old Stanton told the scalper.

There was plenty of intrigue surrounding Monday night's game, and not just over whether Brett Favre would continue his NFL record for consecutive starts or whether the Giants would keep pace in the NFC East.

Giants-Vikings TV information

   » Fox will broadcast the New York-Minnesota game, now to be played in Detroit, in both teams' local markets at 7:20 ET. The game also will be available as part of DirectTV's Sunday Ticket package. 

» NFL Network will re-air the game at midnight ET nationally in its entirety following the live game on Monday night.

» will stream the game in its entirety for fans for 24 hours starting at midnight ET nationally following the live game on Monday night.

This was just plain odd: A Vikings "home" game on the floor of Ford Field, home to the NFC North rival Lions, in a game postponed once because of bad weather that virtually grounded the Giants in Kansas City and twice after heavy snow caved in the roof of the Metrodome back in the Twin Cities.

The result? Long ticket lines at the Ford Field box office early Monday.

Walter Gaiter showed up at 10 a.m. ET Monday -- an hour after the ticket distribution began -- and he and hundreds of people braving teeth-chattering cold weather were told the free tickets were no longer available.

"Within seconds, someone was trying to sell me four for $20," the 38-year-old Detroiter said. "Then, the prices shot up to $10 and $20 for one ticket before you could blink an eye. It's crazy."

The Lions released a statement saying there was an "overwhelming response" to tickets for the game. Approximately 30,000 tickets were distributed, according to Lions spokesman Bill Keenist.

Those holding tickets to the Giants-Vikings game, originally scheduled for Sunday afternoon Minneapolis, were given preferred seating at Ford Field. Fans with tickets from the Packers-Lions game on Sunday in Detroit were told they'd get in free, with no reserved seating in the 65,000-seat indoor stadium with a steel roof.

NFL officials decided the rescheduled and relocated game would be broadcast in the teams' home markets and on the NFL's satellite TV package.

Fans can also catch the game in its entirety on NFL Network and at midnight ET nationally following the live game on Monday night.

Shivering fans braving 12-degree temperatures -- and wind gusts that made it feel well below zero -- lined up hours before free tickets became available.

Stacie Morris wasn't there in time to get the freebies, but the registered nurse from Simsbury, Conn., visiting a friend in the Detroit area said she paid $60 for four tickets.

"I hate football and I've never been to an NFL game," she said. "But I was like, 'They're giving away tickets, let's do it!'"

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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