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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Sports pass cheapest in Pac-10

    A year after offering the most expensive package for student season tickets in the Pacific 10 Conference, the “”Red”” Zona Zoo plan that includes admission to all sporting events ranks lowest among Pac-10 schools.

    Unlike last year, when basketball tickets cost $10 per game in addition to a $60 pass, this year the $95 “”Red”” pass will provide admission to all UA sporting events. A $60 “”Blue”” pass offers all amenities except for men’s basketball tickets.

    UA marketing director Cassidy Moore cautioned that it’s tough to compare the two years because the entire men’s hoops season is paid for in this year’s system, whereas last year students could pick and choose games to attend.

    Going to every contest would cost $107 less than last year.

    “”We wanted to try to ensure we had the best chance of getting the most students out here and working with our students to do that,”” said James Francis, associate athletic director for marketing and ticket sales.

    After a year in which the McKale Center student section featured sparse crowds, men’s basketball tickets have become a sunk cost: because students have already paid forthem, excuses for not attending the game will vanish.

    “”We did a lot of research in getting feedback from the student body (about) why they didn’t come, and a lot of it was the price point and the having to pay every week versus just paying once up front at the beginning of the year,”” Moore said.

    If students reserve seats for every men’s basketball game, they would pay less than $3 per game, a fraction of the single-game cost from last season.

    “”We definitely are giving up revenue in the new plan,”” Francis said. “”It hasn’t been about revenue from the students on this deal. Obviously, the seats are a premium, so there has to be some value associated with them, and that’s very reasonable and fair.””

    Due to a new profit-sharing partnership between Zona Zoo and Arizona Athletics, 5 percent of money from every pass sold will be put back into programming, which has been expanded since last year.

    That will allow Zona Zoo to offer more road trips, including football games at USC and ASU on top of two basketball road trips yet to be determined. Last year’s programming included only one road trip for each sport.

    Zona Zoo will also host tailgates before every home game, rather than simply having a season-kickoff tailgate and one for spring football, and continue Bear Down Friday rallies on University Boulevard the day before home games.

    “”The programming aspect of Zona Zoo is growing massively,”” said Tommy Bruce, president of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona. “”There’s a lot going on.””

    Officials also hope that simplifying the process of reserving seats will add to increased basketball attendance.

    Buying the pass itself has become easier, as students can make the purchase online with their bursar’s accounts or credit cards. And instead of picking up a Zona Zoo pass, students must now present their CatCards for game admission.

    As of Friday, about 4,500 passes had been sold, with about 90 percent of buyers opting for the “”Red”” pass.

    Students can reserve basketball tickets through an online system by entering their student-identification number.

    If they sign up, however, they should go to the game because of a new three-strike penalty system.

    The first time a student misses a game after reserving a seat serves as a warning; the second time results in suspension from the next game; and the third leads to expulsion from the basketball student section for the rest of the year.

    If a student has extenuating circumstances, such as a death in the family or a physical injury that can be verified, the Zona Zoo director will evaluate whether to waive the penalty on a case-by-case basis.

    Bruce said students have told him this makes complete sense, so fans learn not to reserve tickets only to miss the game.

    “”They think of it as a natural progression of the system,”” he said.

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