Ticket trouble pits angry football fans vs. librarians - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Ticket trouble pits angry football fans vs. librarians

In line for free Pro Bowl tickets. In line for free Pro Bowl tickets.
Jamie DeMatoff Jamie DeMatoff
Byrde Cestare Byrde Cestare
Renee Tsuha Renee Tsuha

By Tim Sakahara - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - What was supposed to be a fun event to give away free Pro Bowl tickets almost turned into a riot at the Hawaii State Library.

"I'm upset I'm pretty pissed off," said Jamie DeMatoff

He wasn't alone.  Hundreds of people were ready to sack the library when they heard only 220 tickets were given away to the public and 280 were held for volunteers.

"Two hours in line waiting and you have a lot of people who are very upset I was hearing people talking about doing a riot and this and that it's terrible," said Jamie DeMatoff, who was 285th in line and didn't get tickets.

It's a tough situation.  They're librarians and they had no idea what demand for football tickets would be like and they did want to reward some of their 1,000 volunteers.

"I take full responsibility for that," said Byrde Cestare, Friends of the Library of Hawaii Executive Director. "Yes we did offer it to volunteers. They are the public and we wanted to thank them."

"I don't buy that at all, if they are part of the public then why aren't they waiting in line like everybody else?" said DeMatoff.

"I have no problem giving it to our volunteers they do so much for us. We would not be an organization of the capacity we are without our volunteers," said Cestare, who says they only three paid full time employees.

The librarian was brave enough to go down the line and face the big mob of angry football fans to tell them they were out of tickets.  Although she did try to sell them on the idea of checking out a book, but that didn't work so well.

Of course those that did get tickets were happy, some of whom were in line since 8:00 a.m.

"I got my ticket," laughed Renee Tsuha, Kaimuki.

And at least one person showed good sportsmanship.

"Thank you for trying. You guys did a good thing for the people," a man told Cestare as she continued notifying the long line of people.

The Friends of the Library says next year will be done much different, that is of course if they're given tickets again.

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