The Athletic Association (AA) and Student Government Association (SGA) worked together to move to an online football ticketing system this year, eliminating the need for students to wait in line at the ticketing office before game day. While the new system has many benefits, concerns have been raised about the availability of tickets and the ease of use of the registration system.
Among the changes in the new ticketing policy, the AA has moved over from a traditional paper ticketing system to one that uses the Buzzcard to access the stadium on game days. In previous years, individuals and groups would have to wait in line outside the ticketing office to reserve seats.
There were several reasons for the change in ticketing policy. First, the process of waiting overnight outside the ticketing office was deemed inefficient and unsafe.
With the new policy, neither the students with season tickets nor those wanting single game tickets will be required to wait in line for tickets.
“Overall we think it is a fairer policy. Though camping out at night may be a fun experience, it certainly isn’t a necessity and it is inefficient,” said Doug Allvine, the Assistant Athletic Director.
Another reason for the shift in ticketing policy was to make game day entrances streamlined and easier to regulate. In the past, identification of students and student tickets on game day was a major hassle and often led to overcrowded and uncomfortable seats for spectators.
Under the new ticketing system 9000 tickets have been allotted for students, 6000 of which were reserved for group seating and the remaining for individual seating. The number of group seats was increased after a push from student organizations.
Students began registering under the new system on Saturday, Aug. 14, two days before the start of the semester. Group seats were parceled equally among every class and each standing was allotted 1500 tickets. Students then registered for online based on credit hours.
Students have raised concerns about the cost and availability of tickets. Students currently pay a $125 Athletic Fee every semester and many feel that the additional $36 fee is unwarranted. Previously, students had to pay $15 for guaranteed seating for each football game.
“It’s exciting to have a ticketless system, but the new website and block system [are] confusing. I don’t like paying $36 for season tickets either,” said Matlock Rogers, a 2nd year ISyE major.
In addition, students must ensure that they have the proper RFID capability on their Buzzcards in order to ensure entrance to the game. If their Buzzcard does not have this capability or are lost, it costs $30 toreplace the card, which could cost some students up to $66 in total for football seating.
Others feel that the policy was not made clear enough before the start of registration, and thought it was timed inconveniently. Registration started on August 14th, right before move in for many students. Students were also confused about what to do if they wanted to reserve tickets but were not part of an organization that was reserving group seating.
Students who did sign up for the student group were unhappy that they were not charged at checkout, and instead would have to wait until Aug. 29 to pay their fees, otherwise they lose their ticket reservations.
“For something that’s supposed to be fun like football, the ticketing system makes something that’s supposed to be enjoyable and exciting, complicated and frustrating,” said 3rd year CE major, Lindsay Morgan.
A point of contention for students was the fact that tickets were parceled equally among the classes, putting some at a disadvantage. Students with senior class standing were forced to register at the earliest timeslot, during move in.
“Throughout the season we’ll be doing provision as to how’s it going, and looking at data from this year and how the games where and how the students perceived the new system to make it better for next season,” said Alina Staskevicius, Undergraduate Student Body President.