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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Student ticket prices hiked by 80%

    The largest Zona Zoo crowd of the season turned out for the mens basketball home finale against the University of Washington March 4. About 700 students were in line when the doors opened at 2 p.m. Prices for Zona Zoo passes will rise by more than 50 percent next year for the same number of games as this season.
    The largest Zona Zoo crowd of the season turned out for the men’s basketball home finale against the University of Washington March 4. About 700 students were in line when the doors opened at 2 p.m. Prices for Zona Zoo passes will rise by more than 50 percent next year for the same number of games as this season.

    Student football and basketball fans can expect to pay more than 80 percent more to see games next year after the implementation of a new ticketing system for Arizona men’s basketball and football games.

    The price for the Zona Zoo pass alone will rise by 50 percent, increasing from $40 to $60, without any clear increase in membership benefits.

    Additionally, students will be looking at a steep increase in ticket prices, with the price of season basketball tickets rising from $72 for single-game seats for a 12-game season to up to $132 for the same number of games next year.

    Although the Zona Zoo pass will get students into most football games, students will have to pay an additional $10 to see the game against in-state rival ASU. The additional cost to get into football’s “”Duel in the Desert,”” is because the game will be held over Thanksgiving break.

    The 80 percent increase is figured by the total cost for a student to purchase a Zona Zoo pass and basketball tickets for a 12-game season in comparison to this season. Next year, the total comes to $202 as opposed to $112 this year.

    The Zona Zoo pass is expected to increase to $70 in 2007 when the Wildcats play seven home games without playing one over Thanksgiving break, according to a press release.

    The University of Arizona Athletic Department and the Associated Students of the University of Arizona will also implement a new ticketing system for men’s basketball games.

    The system will replace the old lottery system, allowing anyone who has purchased a Zona Zoo pass to buy basketball tickets in a one- or two-game package, depending on the schedule.

    Students will have the option to purchase tickets on www.arizonaathletics.com every Monday at 6 a.m. during the season, or in person at the McKale Ticket Office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    Tickets will cost $11 if purchased online and $10 if purchased in person, with Zona Zoo members given 48 hours to purchase the student-section tickets.

    “”The lottery was not the most effective way (to distribute tickets) to the most dedicated fans,”” said ASUA spirit director Amber Harryman. “”We had trouble with attendance this year … we want to make sure to get the tickets to the right students who want to come to every game.””

    The new policy will eliminate tickets sold for the entire season, giving students a chance to buy tickets game by game.

    “”We got feedback from students, and they’d be excited to go to any games,”” Harryman said.

    If any of the tickets remain unsold at 5 p.m., seats in the student section will become available to the public to buy, Harryman said.

    This move to sell the tickets at a higher price and open up unsold tickets to the general public was partially because student tickets were “”extremely underpriced”” in comparison to other Pacific 10 Conference schools, according to Harryman.

    ASU students paid only $33 for men’s basketball season tickets this season, or they had the option to pay $85 for a season-ticket package deal for both football and basketball games, according to the Sun Devils’ athletics Web site.

    Michael Huston, the nominee for next year’s ASUA spirit director position, said he was unaware of the new policy implementations.

    “”I was not involved with the creation or development of this policy,”” said Huston, an Arizona Daily Wildcat opinions columnist.

    Huston, who could be confirmed as spirit director as early as tonight during the ASUA Senate meeting, said he expects to be in dialogue with the decision makers in ASUA if he does get the position.

    Students who were told of the new ticketing plans yesterday had varied reactions, with some voicing approval of the new system despite the price increases.

    “”I feel (the basketball ticketing system) will eliminate many of the fans that win the lottery and do not even show up to the games,”” said Joe Flamer, a finance junior. “”This will allow the true fans to go to the games and make McKale louder than ever.””

    Creative writing junior Erin Leonard agreed.

    “”A lot of people just want to go to the (basketball) games but aren’t dedicated to the team unless they’re winning,”” she said. “”It seems that if someone is going to put an effort into buying tickets every week at 6 a.m. or 9 a.m., then they really care about going to the game.””

    Other features for next year include a Zona Zoo Senior Day that will be during the last home men’s basketball game, with students who have attended the UA for four years getting priority for that game’s ticket.

    “”We wanted to start a tradition with Senior Day and give them preference for the last game of the year,”” Harryman said. “”They get first-come, first-served for a certain amount of time, and then only seniors will be allowed time.””

    Zona Zoo passes are currently on sale at www.arizonaathletics.com and also at the McKale Center Ticket Office and are still good for free admission into all Wildcat sports with the exception of men’s basketball.

    – Roman Veytsman and Michael Schwartz contributed to this story.

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