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Ticket shortage leaves many empty-handed

Anna Gelhaus | Friday, October 29, 2004

In what should have been a familiar scene for many fans of Notre Dame men’s basketball, the approximately 3,000 tickets allotted for students sold out by 10 a.m. Thursday – panning out to equal one sale every four seconds.

Incidents of student camp-outs aside, director of ticketing Josh Berlo said this year’s sale was similar to last, as the same number of tickets was sold out in approximately the same time.

Berlo also said this is the second year in a row that tickets have sold out in less than a day, when just a few years ago it took a week.

Though Berlo admitted to several “early arrivals”- students camping out well before the sale’s 7 a.m. start – he said that most students arrived about an hour before start time.

“There is a strong demand,” Berlo said. “I think the sale went efficiently for processing 3,000 booklets in three hours.”

Senior Aaron Wagner agreed.

“I thought it was fine,” he said. “It showed people were excited about the program and actually wanted to wait in line.”

Wegner got in line at 6:30 a.m. and had his tickets by 9:30.

Fellow senior Maria Welch disagreed, describing the ticket distribution as “extremely inefficient,” she said, “There has to be a better way.”

But this was not the biggest problem in Welch’s eyes. Though able to get tickets herself, she was disappointed that many students were left without.

“It’s unfortunate that they don’t offer more [student tickets],” Welch said.

Even students that arrived before the 7 a.m. start time were left without tickets. Sophomore Jonathan Kiechle was among the first to be turned away.

“Around 9 … the ushers started coming around and said the person in front of us was ‘on the bubble,'” Kiechle said. “The only way we would not get them they said was if every person in front of us was purchasing six tickets. That obviously was not true.”

A policy change was implemented after the ticket shortage problems last year, and is aimed at allowing more students to see the team play. For the first time, students are encouraged to share ticket booklets.

To gain admission to the game, a student will only need that game’s ticket and their student I.D. The entire booklet, as in years past, will not be needed.

“Any student can use any other student’s ticket,” Berlo said. “We are trying to satisfy demand … We want as many students as possible to be able to come to the games.”

Also changed was the distribution venue, as the desire for quick and organized sales prompted the use of the stadium box offices this year, which have more windows.

Concern over ticket shortages extended beyond the student body. Message boards on NDNation.com contained postings from season ticket holders who heard about the quick sell-out. Some responded by offering to sell their unused tickets to students for the student price.

Berlo said the now consolidated student section makes for a better atmosphere in the JACC. He explained that in years past the student section divided in half.

Students who purchased tickets also received Leprechaun Legion T-shirts emblazoned with “No Shirt. No Shoes. No Tie. No Problem,” in honor of head coach Mike Brey’s tradition of wearing turtlenecks, not ties during games.

Brian Tracy, president of the Leprechaun Legion, agreed the ticket and shirt distribution went well.

“Our main purpose is to unite the student body and create a good atmosphere,” Tracy said. “Thank you to everyone for making that happen.”