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Of insults and t-shirts

Letter to the Editor | Tuesday, February 3, 2009

For the past four years, my friends and I have attended every home hockey game that was not scheduled during a break in addition to many away games. This Friday, we arrived to the game against Michigan an hour before game time, as per usual, only to find that the game was sold out. After hearing multiple people complain that it was advertised online that the doors would open at 7:05, I was a bit confused, and still am, as to how the student section was filled before the doors were set to open.

In addition, when I arrived at the JACC, there was a line of about 30-40 students, waiting to get into the game, completely oblivious to the fact that they would not be gaining admission. The ushers, who clearly saw the line out the door and chose to do nothing about the students standing outside in the 9 degree weather which felt like -2. It wasn’t until a friend told the ushers that they should probably let the students know the game was sold out before they decided to do anything about the freezing students.

Not only was the student section sold out over an hour before the game, but it was not necessarily sold out to true fans. Many of the seats were given to students who went to the game strictly to get free t-shirts. Upon walking back from the JACC, students were seen in LaFortune with their free hockey t-shirts, odd since not only was the game not over, but it had yet to start. This problem could easily have been fixed simply by collecting the students’ tickets on the way out and reissuing them, but the ushers refused to do this or even to allow waiting students to claim the tickets themselves. The ushers stated that they could not allow us to do this as it was a ticketed event.

What I find fascinating is that for the past four years whenever games have sold out, students have always waited outside, taken students’ tickets as they were leaving, and entered the game with the used tickets. I know multiple people that have used this method. I find it interesting, that the ushers actually told us that this had never been allowed, when many of the students standing outside had done this before themselves.

Notre Dame students are not stupid, and we do not appreciate being lied to. After four years of being a loyal fan to the Notre Dame hockey team through good and bad, I am insulted that I was turned away from a game – by ushers that didn’t have the decency to tell students the game was sold out until they were forced – because of students that just wanted to get a free shirt. When students are standing in line outside, tell them the game is sold out. And don’t go to sporting events to get free stuff and then leave. It’s insulting both to the team and to the true fans.

Jamie Engel



Jan. 30