Greeks, athletics to team up

Gopher athletics will partner with greek chapters to help sell tickets during Homecoming.

Samantha Alisankus

The University of Minnesota’s athletics department and greek community are teaming up just in time for Homecoming.

In an effort to boost attendance at Gopher games and also offer opportunities for fraternities and sororities to raise money for their philanthropies, athletics is having greek groups compete to sell the most season tickets with incentives for the greeks.

Greek organizations will compete to see which groups of three to five chapters can sell the most tickets to alumni, said Katie Kolberg,  Panhellenic Council’s vice president of programming. Each ticket will cost $50, $10 of which will go to the University’s Amplatz Children’s Hospital.

“TCF’s goal is to get people to the stadium,” Kolberg said. “Our goal is to donate the maximum amount of money.”

Student football season ticket sales are at a record low and James Slagle, a University athletics spokesman, said he hopes a major benefit of the partnership will be increased game attendance for a variety of University athletic teams.

Interfraternity Council President Mike Danley said Homecoming is an ideal time to pilot an event like this because many of the alumni are making their way back to campus anyway and are likely to buy game tickets during their visit.

Along with a group discount, alumni purchasing tickets from chapter members will get seating near other alumni and near the student section.

The winning chapters will also get tailgating space in TCF Bank Stadium’s Victory Lot, where alumni, friends and family who purchased tickets can park before the game.

George Cullina, president of the University’s chapter of Phi Sigma Kappa, said he’s excited about the new initiative and hopes it will draw a strong greek alumni presence to the game on Oct. 13.

But Homecoming is only the beginning of the partnership.

The two programs are looking to partner for future ticket sales endeavors, including efforts to help draw crowds to sporting events other than the three most popular on campus: football, basketball and hockey, said Matt Levine, program director for the Office for Fraternity and Sorority Life.

According to Danley, volleyball and women’s soccer are specifically being considered for future collaboration.

Winners of future sales or attendance competitions may be able to booth or advertise for their philanthropy projects at Gopher games.

Danley said he hopes the partnership will bridge the gap between the two campus communities.

“We always want to have a better relationship with the athletics department,” he said.