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SUB takes big loss on Purdue lottery

John Tierney | Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The Student Union Board (SUB) was unable to sell 58 student football tickets to Notre Dame’s game Saturday at Purdue, according to SUB manager Phil Ross – making the 33-19 loss against the Boilermakers also the biggest loss SUB has experienced on a football ticket sale in recent years.

SUB originally offered the Purdue tickets for sale through a lottery held Sept. 12, in which there were 196 winners who were eligible to purchase two tickets each. Of the 196 lottery winners, however, about half were claimed before the Sept. 24 deadline.

The remaining tickets were then made available for sale to the general student body, SUB director of publicity Laura Fox said.

For the Michigan game, the first away game ticket sale this year, SUB sold the entirety of its 196 ticket allotment. All 98 winners of the initial lottery claimed their tickets, who were each allowed to purchase two tickets.

After only half of the lottery winners claimed their Purdue tickets, SUB e-mailed students Sept. 24 to announce the sale of the remaining half at the LaFortune Box Office.

On Sept. 27, just two days before the game, SUB sent the student body a second e-mail, reminding them there were still Purdue tickets available for purchase.

Saturday’s game at Purdue marks the biggest loss on unsold football tickets since a game at Navy a few years ago, when approximately 100 tickets weren’t purchased, Ross said.

At a meeting of the Council of Representatives on Sept. 11, Ross said SUB loses about $1,000 on each ticket lottery and sale it holds – even when all tickets are sold – due to fees that must be paid to the box office and to Legends, which hosts the lotteries.

When not all of the tickets are sold, SUB’s loss increases as it must absorb the difference between the cost of the total number of tickets allotted to students and the revenue the actual sales brought in.

For the Purdue game, 392 were allotted but only 334 were sold to students, Ross said.

SUB buys away tickets from the ticket office at face value and sells them to students for the same price.

Tickets to the Purdue game cost $65 for students, while tickets for the Michigan game cost $60.

Based on The Observer’s calculations, SUB lost approximately $3,770 more on the Purdue ticket lottery and sale than it does on a typical away-game ticket distribution, possibly bringing the total losses up to as much as $5,000.

And with the team’s continued losing streak, it is unclear how much students will choose to purchase tickets at future lotteries and travel to away games.

Josh Berlo, the director of the Ticket Office, said the Irish’s performance will not affect his office’s efforts to make away game tickets available to students, and he hopes they will continue to show their support to the team by purchasing them.

“We will continue to make every effort possible to provide as many tickets for the student away game lotteries,” Berlo said.

SUB will host a lottery Friday for the rights to exchange student tickets for general admission tickets for the USC home game Oct. 20.

Ross said 750 students will be able to exchange their tickets after winning the lottery and paying the Athletic Ticket Office the $31 difference between the cost of a student ticket and a general admission ticket.