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How to navigate UNLV’s athletics surplus sale

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COURTESY: Josh Holmberg

UNLV Athletics hosted a similar sale in 2011.

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Every two years, UNLV clears out its stock of game-used apparel and sports equipment with an early-morning sale held before the football team’s spring game. For Rebels fanatics who dream of owning game-used basketball sneakers or a football jersey, this is the prime opportunity to grab one at severely reduced prices.

The latest incarnation of the athletics surplus sale will be held Saturday, from 9 a.m. to noon on the UNLV campus at the North Gym. For those planning to attend, there is strategy involved.

Our tips for UNLV sports fans on navigating the biggest shopping day on the calendar:

Get there early

The doors open at 9 a.m., but this is a popular event and there will be many waiting to get in. The situation is more controlled than a Black Friday-style stampede, but you don’t want to be stuck waiting outside for too long. The earlier you get in line, the earlier you get in and the earlier you can make your way to the merchandise.

Know what you want

Walk in with a target in mind. Popular items go fast. If you saw the basketball team wearing sweet warmup pants last year and you want your own pair, figure out where they are and go straight for that table. If you want a pair of football cleats, make a beeline and find your size before they run out. Get what you want first, then get your browse on.

Get your browse on

There is a lot of good stuff for sale. Used baseball bats, hats, polo shirts, sneakers, shorts, T-shirts and pretty much anything else you can think of. Once you’ve secured the top items on your list, take a look around and see what else catches your eye. With extremely reduced prices, you can go home with a lot of merch.

Be prepared to go toe-to-toe with the players

The 2017 sale was well-attended not just by fans, but players as well. Men’s and women’s student-athletes were all over the last sale, in some cases looking to purchase their own shoes or jerseys from previous seasons. If you find yourself jostling with the star wide receiver, maybe give him first dibs on that No. 88 jersey?

Last chance for Nike?

With UNLV’s current apparel contract expiring in June, this could be the last opportunity to get Nike-branded Rebels gear at this event. Depending on which apparel company UNLV signs with this summer, the 2021 sale could be loaded with Under Armour shirts or Adidas shorts. If you’re a Nike loyalist (as UNLV has been for decades), take advantage on Saturday.

Buy season tickets

For the first time, the school is giving preferential treatment to shoppers who have basketball or football season tickets. Those VIPs will be allowed into the building for an exclusive shopping period from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. If you want that early access, season tickets have to be purchased (or renewed) by 5 p.m. Friday to be eligible.

Mike Grimala can be reached at 702-948-7844 or [email protected]. Follow Mike on Twitter at twitter.com/mikegrimala.

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