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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    “One step forward, two steps back”

    Adam Gaubsports editor
    Adam Gaub
    sports editor

    Gaub’s Gospel

    The new ticketing policy announced yesterday by Arizona Athletics and ASUA showed glimmers of hope that the men’s basketball ticket fiasco that goes on each year is slowly reaching a better place.

    Problem is, it’s hard to see that glimmer behind the heavy-handed way in which the plan was announced, pacing the punch that is the hit students’ wallets will be taking to pay for football and basketball tickets next year.

    Associated Students of the University of Arizona spirit director Amber Harryman, along with then-acting student body president Erin Hertzog, senior associate athletic director Chris Del Conte and associate athletics directors Scott MacKenzie and Russell Dean met in April to hammer out the plan, which was disclosed to the media in a press release before ASUA spirit director nominee Michael Huston, an Arizona Daily Wildcat opinions columnist, was even told about it.

    Huston, who should be confirmed for his position by the ASUA Senate tonight, will do an excellent job in the role but has been unfairly saddled with a ticketing plan that he didn’t even know about, much less have a say in.

    Now maybe this is some sort of rite of passage, for the outgoing director to help create brand new policy that the newcomer is left to implement, but regardless of who it is, it just lacks common sense.

    The policy itself isn’t a total failure, if you can manage to get past the staggering increases in ticket prices, which by the way are indeed staggering and are much higher than are really necessitated by simply competing with the other Pacific 10 Conference schools, as Harryman has said.

    ASU, which has held the upper hand in football against Arizona since the Wildcats won the Holiday Bowl in 1998, didn’t go insane with student ticket pricing after its football team had a good season.

    Oh wait. The Cats didn’t have a good season. They won three games. Lost eight.

    The rate hike (and this is across the board – the general public is taking it in the shorts as a result of Stoops Hoopla) is basically akin to buying stock in a dotcom. It could go huge in the next few years, could make slow and steady gains, or could flop flat on its face in no time at all.

    Yes indeed, head football coach Mike Stoops has everyone sipping his Kool-Aid and has everyone shelling out more bucks just because he sprinkled a bit more sugar in there. It’s still the same flavor though – the program needs to win some games before the athletics department begins testing our fan-base loyalty.

    It’s hard to argue with success when it comes to men’s basketball, though. I’ll be quite honest; $6 for the best seat in town is a steal for a college student, considering the insanity involved in getting season tickets for the general public.

    And the proposed ‘Senior Day,’ for the Wildcats’ last home game is a small step in the right direction. Seniority for tickets is what it is all about. Once they find a way to truly incorporate that, they will satisfy the vast majority of student fans.

    The rest of the plan will be getting revised a year from now because it’s not going to work, and not surprisingly if you take a look at it.

    Students will get frustrated with having to wake up at 5:45 a.m. each Monday morning to get a shot at a basketball ticket for just one or two games for that week, especially if the system is anything like that Student Link used for registration for classes.

    The system will overload, move at a snail’s pace and frustrate the basketball fan just trying to get a shot at seeing Lute’s squad live in action at our beloved McKale Center.

    However, with three hours before students can begin buying them in person, the tickets should be all but grabbed up, and waiting in line will be nothing more than catching a sunrise somewhere besides under your covers.

    Quite honestly, the plan to sell extra tickets to the general public is a precursor of what is to come in the next few years. If the Wildcat student section isn’t sold out each and every game – and yes, that includes the exhibitions – then it will be an excuse to do what the athletic department really wants: Sell the tickets to the public and make more money.

    It’s up to the students to make sure that doesn’t happen. Even if that does mean sipping coffee while yelling at your computer at 6 a.m.

    But this is still just fighting from within the system. The system is not for the students, and until students demonstrate clearly what they want, the athletics department, with the puppy-dog-like cooperation of ASUA, will continue to patronize students with ‘deals’ such as this.

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