The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



New ticket distribution system to debut

Katie Perry | Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Dwindling student attendance at men’s basketball games last year motivated the significant change in how students will acquire ticket booklets to watch the Irish in action this season, organizers said.

Contrary to past seasons, students now have two responsibilities to acquire basketball ticket booklets.

Students must first attend “Late Night with the Legion,” held tonight at the Joyce Center from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m. to pick up a redeemable ticket voucher. They are then required to redeem their ticket vouchers for student ticket booklets this Thursday and Friday.

Matt Walsh, chair of student government’s University affairs committee, said the new process has the dual purpose of promoting the men’s basketball program while ensuring a “more equitable” means of ticket distribution.

Walsh said the new procedure was implemented primarily because student attendance at home basketball games dropped in comparison to the previous year. Organizers from both student government and the Leprechaun Legion hope the event will boost support for the program.

“It will hopefully get people pumped up about the upcoming season, and in doing so, get them to attend more home games … It will hopefully lead to more student tickets being released in upcoming years,” Walsh said. “We also hope the new procedure will allow the most dedicated fans a greater chance to secure tickets.”

Walsh said during the summer, student government members researched other peer institutions to see how they approached similar issues with basketball programs and ticket distribution.

“We found that ND was pretty much the only large [NCAA Division I] school that did not do an event such as the one [tonight],” he said.

The first annual “Late Night with the Legion” is a free event that will feature the official Notre Dame men’s basketball walk-on tryouts, an opportunity to compete in a shooting contest with the players and a venue to interact with team members and coaches.

Vouchers will be distributed on a first come, first serve basis at the end of the event. In order to ensure those who arrive first receive vouchers, wristbands will be distributed when students enter the event at Gate 11.

Students are allowed to bring up to two IDs, including their own, to obtain two vouchers.

A voucher received at the event will guarantee a student ticket booklet – as well as a complimentary Leprechaun Legion T-shirt – granted the student redeems it Thursday and Friday at the Joyce Center Gate 10 box office between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. Students may bring up to four vouchers and IDs redeemable for up to four student ticket booklets.

But organizers said the availability of these vouchers will be limited.

“Many students have voiced concern that more tickets should be made available solely for students to attend home games,” Walsh said. “However, since attendance dropped [last year], the Ticket Office – rightfully so – was not going to give out more student tickets.”

As in previous years, 2,700 vouchers – and ultimately ticket booklets – will be available at the event. Walsh said it is important for students to note that Notre Dame distributes “many” more student tickets than “almost every” D-1 school.

A big problem in years past, especially last year, was that many students purchased a ticket booklet for the entire season but only attended a few games, Walsh said.

“[For that reason] we are going to implement a ticket share program this year, hopefully online at ndbay.com, but [student government] is still working on the details,” he said.

Walsh said student government collaborated with the Leprechaun Legion, head basketball coach Mike Brey and the ticket office in the organization and implementation of the new ticket process.

“The new system is a result of research by some of my committee members, discussion at Student Senate last year, discussion and planning within my committee and an overall desire to put on such an event from all parties involved,” Walsh said.

The Irish will tip off the season on Nov. 3 at a home opener exhibition game against Lewis University. As in previous years, student seating will be via general admission within designated student sections.