Tickets for the National Football League's NFC championship game went on sale this Monday, but not in California. The Seattle Seahawks - who host the San Francisco 49ers this Sunday - are limiting ticket sales to credit cards with addresses from six U.S. states (Oregon, Washington, Montana, Idaho, Alaska and Hawaii) and parts of Canada.
Restricting ticket sales to certain states is a policy all sports teams have the right to exercise. Over in Denver, the Broncos are also limiting ticket sales for Sunday's AFC championship game against the New England Patriots to valid billing addresses in a select group of states that, naturally, excludes all of New England.
Of course, this just makes things slightly more inconvenient for Californians looking to get to the game; it certainly won't stop hardcore 49er fans from buying tickets either on secondary markets like StubHub, where prices are higher, or through friends with accepted zip codes.
The Seahawks-49er rivalry is notorious, stemming from a deep mutual dislike between coaches Jim Harbaugh and Pete Carroll. Fans have more than adopted the sentiment; earlier this season Seattle used undercover cops dressed as 49ers fans to patrol CenturyLink stadium in an attempt to root out overly aggressive Seahawk fans.
And the Seahawks have an additional reason for limiting the number of opposing fans at the game. CentureLink Field provides one of the most noticeable home advantage of any team in the league; it's incredibly loud (fans generated so much noise during Saturday's defeat of the New Orleans Saints that it caused a minor earthquake), making communication among players on the opposing teams virtually impossible.