- Category: Volume 87 (Fall 2015 - Spring 2016)
- Published: 03 February 2016
- Written by DANIELLE SCHIPANI | NEWS EDITOR
Due to the increase in popularity of the men’s basketball team, the University has implemented a new advanced ticket student pickup policy, effective as of Jan. 26.
All current students are welcome to pickup a voucher at the box office starting seven days before the game, held in the Multipurpose Activity Center (MAC). Students must show their Monmouth ID to attain a voucher and may only pick up one ticket at a time. To enter the game, students must show both their student ID and their voucher.
There will be 1,000 student tickets available per game. If fewer than 867 student vouchers are picked up before the game, the remaining tickets will be sold to the general public on the day of the game.
According to an email sent out to the student body from Eric Silakowski, Assistant Athletic Director of Marketing and Promotions, “The student voucher pickup system is being implemented to ensure all spectators can enjoy the game in a safe environment.”
Student reactions have varied regarding the new policy. “I mean I understand why they have to do it. You can only fit so many people into the student section,” said Kenny Magner, a junior communication student. “The thing I don’t like is you need to get the voucher ahead of time, which means you can’t decide spur of the moment on the day of the game that you want to go. It’s been really fun watching the basketball team this year from a student and an avid college basketball fan. I truly enjoy watching these guys play so I am a little bummed I can’t decide day of that I want to go to a game and I need to know for sure ahead of time,” Magner continued.
“The new policy will work as a good strategy for crowd control,” said Liam Frank, junior music industry student. “There have been games where the police have needed to shoo people away in the student section because it was overcrowded. It will also work to weed out fans who were not that serious or who decided to go last minute. However, the new policy is inconvenient for students who are dedicated fans of the game,” Frank continued.
Some students expressed concern regarding the possibility of students trying to sell their vouchers. Ken Taylor, Associate Athletic Director of Development and Marketing addressed this issue. “The reason we require a valid ID both when picking up the voucher and when entering the game is to ensure only MU students use the vouchers. The intent is that no student should have to pay to go to a game. The number 1,000 is higher than the number of students that have ever attended a men’s basketball game. If someone does try to sell them we would address that with the individual,” said Taylor.
Students are permitted to buy tickets if the student section is sold out. However, this does not appeal to all students. “I would not buy a ticket. When I first became a student here it was always free for students. If the student section was sold out it is likely that I just wouldn’t go to the game, unless it was a huge game that I couldn’t miss,” explained Frank.
Some other schools with a large student interest in men’s basketball have implemented similar systems. Villanova University has a lottery system where tickets enter the lottery and the tickets are given at random. However, it is not likely that the University will implement a similar system.
“If demand reaches a point that a lottery system is needed, we would do that. However, I’m confident 1,000 tickets satisfies the demand,” said Taylor. “Again 1,000 exceeds the number of students we’ve ever gotten for any game at the MAC. Based on that we went with first come first served.”
The first come first serve system will allow dedicated fans to attend and is favored by some over the lottery system. “First come first serve would be better because people who are dedicated can really go to support the team. Lottery people might want to try to sell them,” said Frank.
If a student picks up a voucher and then decides they cannot attend the game, they are encouraged to give the voucher to another student who can use it or return it to the box office as only students with a voucher will be allowed in. “Only students with vouchers and a valid ID will be allowed to enter the game. There is no way for us to know if someone isn’t using a voucher so we have to assume every voucher will get used. It’s same thing we do with tickets. We’ve sold every ticket for tomorrow’s game. That doesn’t mean they will all get used. But we have to assume every ticket holder will show up and use his/her seat,” said Taylor.
The box office is open Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm. All vouchers must be picked up by 5 pm of the business day before the basketball game. This policy is only being implemented for men’s basketball. Seating for the basketball games are still first come first serve in the student section.
PHOTO TAKEN by Danielle Schipani