Military thankful for gift of Bengals tickets on Sunday - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Corporate community gives Bengals tickets to active duty military members

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The line for tickets at the Dent Kroger The line for tickets at the Dent Kroger
The Newport Kroger staff serving food to people in line for Bengals tickets The Newport Kroger staff serving food to people in line for Bengals tickets
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

Many active-duty service men and women will brave sub-zero temperatures on Sunday to watch their home team take on the Chargers.

The Cincinnati Bengals announced that Sunday's AFC Wild Card Game at Paul Brown Stadium is officially a sellout. The sellout can be largely attributed to several companies who purchased tickets for active duty military members.

The east ticket window at Paul Brown Stadium is just one of the locations where free playoff tickets will be available to the military on Saturday. Many of these servicemen are anxious to see the game.

"Actually I've been trying all morning to get tickets off the AFTA website, the Armed Forces Ticket Association," explains Gunnery Sgt. Darrel Stephenson.

AFTA has been giving away tickets for the game on their website. However, Stephenson says it's been first come, first serve.

"It is almost like a lottery trying to get in there to beat the other people to the rush to get the tickets," says Stephenson.

In order to pick up tickets on Saturday, active service members must first register on AFTA's website.

The fact that the corporate community is donating these tickets means allot to these service members.

"It's great to be able to be their to support the Bengals because they support us in the Marine Corps Reserve with Toys for Tots so it's great to be able to cheer on the Bengals in their endeavors in the playoffs," says Jason, an active duty Marine.

And what better morale booster than to watch a team that's favored to win.  

"I's great for me being a transplant. I've been a Lions fan my whole life," adds Jason. "It's actually good to have a team that I can root for that's actually making it somewhere now."

The number of tickets available for the military and their families is limited. Those who are eligible are encouraged to get to the stadium or selected Kroger stores early.

A company purchase by Tide, Gillette, CoverGirl and Bounty enables the game to be sold out, and therefore broadcast locally to fans wanting to watch the game on television at 1:05. The tickets will be added to the complimentary tickets Kroger is giving away this weekend to local military families who can attend the game and cheer on the Bengals.

The Bengals said they have received support from other local businesses including Fifth Third Bank, Cincinnati Insurance Co., Cintas, United Dairy Farmers, Liberty Mutual/Safeco, Scripps and Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse who have helped provide tickets to military families through the Armed Forces Ticket Association.

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