AUBURN, Ala. -- Dial Gibbs, an 81-year-old Auburn resident, had almost given up hope Saturday afternoon.
He was alone in Phoenix without the $995 ticket he purchased to the BCS National Championship game.
But at midnight Sunday, his disappointment became joy when an Opelika couple gave him their extra ticket.
Dr. Ross Davis, a cardiologist in the Institute for Advance Cardiovascular Care at the East Alabama Medical Center, and his wife Catherine Davis, Opelika City Schools lead nurse, had planned to go to the Glendale, Ariz., game with their two daughters.
Because of the icy weather, their youngest daughter wasn’t able to get out of Birmingham, Catherine Davis said. So the couple wound up with an extra ticket.
After reading about Gibbs in Saturday’s Opelika-Auburn News, Catherine Davis told her husband they needed to contact him.
“He (Gibbs) got scammed,” she said. “It’s all (about) family. Eighty-one years old, he’s probably not going to have many more chances to do this. So we just felt it was the right thing to do.”
The Tiger fan of more than 40 years began his BCS quest in December, when he tried to purchase a ticket from TicketMaster but found they were sold out. A friend told him to try Craigslist. From there, Gibbs was sent to a ticket-intermediary website, where, on Dec. 10, he purchased a ticket from seller Big City Tickets.
“I was excited,” he said. “Anyone that sees Cam Newton and is not excited is not a football fan.”
With fees, the ticket cost Gibbs $995. He also paid $50 in insurance in case he couldn’t make it to the game.
In mid-December, he got into his 2004 Mercury Grand Marquis and began the trip west. He stopped in New Orleans along the way to visit a friend and spent the holidays with family in Louisiana.
After arriving in Phoenix, Gibbs received an e-mail saying there was a problem with his ticket and was told to call Big City Tickets. He was told the provider of tickets to Big City Tickets did not have them and therefore could not provide him with his ticket.
Gibbs was told he would be reimbursed for his ticket and was asked if he would like to purchase another for approximately $4,000.
Kenny Lee, a representative with Big City Tickets, declined to comment.
By Saturday night, Gibbs was contemplating heading back to Auburn. But 24 hours later, his luck turned.
“He just tickled us,” Catherine Davis said. “He was so excited, just jumping up and down.”
“Life is good,” Gibbs said about getting to attend the game.