Hockey tickets haven’t sold out

Tickets for the Gopher hockey season havenâÄôt sold out, but athletics officials hesitate to blame a new ticket policy. This year, the athletics department changed its student ticket policy to a first come, first serve seat selection. Students also must apply for individual tickets, not in groups. Eight home games into the season, some students are in favor of the policy, but the empty seats tell a different story. Student tickets still being available at this point in the season is something new to the administration, Jason LaFrenz, director of marketing and ticket sales for Gophers athletics, said. âÄúI havenâÄôt heard of it,âÄù he said. âÄúNot in the last couple of years.âÄù The administration has not received any negative feedback from students about the new policy and canâÄôt figure out why the tickets havenâÄôt sold out, LaFrenz said. Almost 800 students were denied tickets last year because of popular demand. Junior public relations and sports management student Jessie Oruche has had student tickets for years and thinks part of the problem this year is the success and popularity in other Gophers sports. âÄúItâÄôs not too surprising with the improvements basketball has made,âÄù she said. âÄúMaybe next year football will have a bigger impact as well.âÄù Oruche said she likes general admission seating because sometimes students get stuck with seats they donâÄôt like. âÄúYou have the option to come early and try to watch games from different areas throughout the season,âÄù she said. LaFrenz said itâÄôs unlikely that anyone would buy season tickets at this point in the season. Student single game tickets cost $15. âÄúThe seats will start to fill up with the more intense series coming up,âÄù LaFrenz said. The other change in policy allows students to only apply for a single season ticket and doesnâÄôt allow group applications, as in the past. Students had the chance to refund their tickets if their friends did not receive them. LaFrenz said the administration has only given out one or two refunds. Oruche said this could be part of the reason that student tickets havenâÄôt sold out. âÄúPeople want their whole groups to go to the games with them on a Friday or Saturday night,âÄù Oruche said. âÄúIt would suck to go just by yourself.âÄù Frank Mazzocco, Gophers hockey play-by-play announcer for Fox Sports Network , said the student section attendance has looked thin. âÄúAbout all that I’ve noticed is that before the game and early in the game, the student section at the east end looks like somebody let a skunk run loose,âÄù Mazzocco said. There has been a shortage of students in the stands, particularly during break, Mazzocco said, which is pretty standard. âÄúI wish they’d make [student seats] available to the public,âÄù Mazzocco said. âÄúWouldn’t mind getting my hands on a couple.âÄù Die-hard students like the new policy because they get to the arena early and show their support in the best seats, LaFrenz said. The athletics department still has not decided on how to seat students in the new TCF Bank Stadium next fall, but something similar to the new hockey policy is being considered, LaFrenz said.