USD game tickets available now

Amy Poppinga

Amy Poppinga

Campus officials have agreed to reserve 1,500 student tickets for the women’s basketball game against the University of South Dakota, but that may not matter to students who don’t know that the Athletic Department is pre-selling the tickets.

For the USD game only, student tickets are being handed out in advance, with tickets becoming available Jan. 25. To receive a free ticket, students must present an ID to the Jackrabbit Ticket Office, located on the second floor of the Stanley J. Marshall HPER Center.

Jason Bellrichard, a junior construction management major, said he was not previously aware of that policy, and he said he thought many other students were similarly unaware.

“Students are not used to getting tickets before the game,” he said. “A majority will probably come to the door.”

Calvin Watts, a junior history major, agreed.

“By selling the tickets this early, they run the risk of selling out of tickets before the game day,” he said. “A good majority of students don’t even know they are on sale.”

To advertise the policy changes, the Athletic Department has sent out an e-mail that included the information and announced the change at the basketball doubleheader against Oakland on Jan. 23.

Athletic Director Justin Sell said the ticket policy changes are not meant to prevent students from coming to the game. Instead, they are meant to ensure that tickets are available to students for the expected sell-out game.

“It was an organizational thing for us to make sure we were actively protecting enough tickets for students,” Sell said.

With a 1,500-ticket allotment, 25 percent of Frost Arena is reserved for students. Sell said that number could go up if general admission tickets do not sell well and if the student tickets are almost gone. He also said if there are leftover student or general admission tickets on game day, students can get into the game with just their IDs.

As of 3:15 p.m. on Jan. 26, about 1000 student tickets remained, according to the SDSU Ticket Office.

Earlier in the week, concerns about the USD game policy revolved around the number of tickets the Athletic Department would reserve for students.

Conflicting reports from the Athletic Department and the Students’ Association make it unclear whether 1,000 or 1,500 tickets were originally allotted for students, but as of Jan. 25, both campus officials and student leaders had agreed that 1,500 tickets was a fair amount to reserve for students.

During the Jan. 18 meeting of the Students’ Association, President Matt Tollefson announced that 1,000 tickets were reserved for students for the USD game. Senators said they thought that number was low, but no resolution had been drafted yet opposing the policy. The next night the SA Board of Directors – which includes a senator from each college and is chaired by the SA vice president – passed a resolution calling for more student seating.

“We’re here to represent students, to get them as much as possible in their best interests,” said Tim Goldammer, one of the resolution’s co-sponsors. “We’re asking them to allow extra students in.”

The Board of Directors resolution asked that 2,000 tickets be held for students until Feb. 8. On that day, any remaining tickets over 1,000 would go on sale to the public, but students could still receive a free ticket until the general admission seating was sold out.

The Board of Directors unanimously passed the measure that night, but the resolution was not ratified by the full senate at its Jan. 25 meeting since Sell had since told senators he planned to reserve 1,500 student tickets.

“They’ve come a long way for students,” said Patrick Weber, senator for the Graduate School. “If we pass this, it almost looks like they have come a long way to meet us in middle and we’re going against that work.”

Several other students also seemed okay with the 1,500 ticket-allotment based off attendance figures for other key basketball games. According to figures from the Athletic Department, 1,102 students attended the home 2008 Women’s National Invitation Tournament game against Illinois State. The second WNIT game that year against the Indiana Hoosiers saw 1,077 students attend, while 1,169 students watched the women beat North Dakota State in Frost Arena in 2009.

Even though student attendance at those major contests never hit 1,500, Grady Lenort, a senior media production major, said he thought students would still use up all 1,500 tickets for the USD game.

“Everyone knows the big rivalry between the two colleges so they are going to of course want to go to that game,” he said.

Athletic Director Sell said he too hopes students pick up the maximum number of tickets because he wants students to help create an exciting atmosphere.

“The spirit and passion of athletic programs are driven by students,” he said.