New policy tightens student ticket usage

Some are concerned cheaper student tickets will be sold to nonstudents because of hockey’s popularity.

Jake Grovum

The Gopher men’s hockey team played their first game of the season last night.

For those students who didn’t land season tickets through a lottery, a $30 single-game pass – $27 for standing room – might prove to be their only avenue into the game tonight, or any other game this season.

Athletics officials have implemented a policy this year that limits the use of season tickets to those who purchased them.

Due to the high demand for hockey tickets, Jason LaFrenz, director of marketing and ticketing, said it’s important to make sure those outside the University aren’t using student tickets.

In the past, officials have asked for a University identification card to gain entry into a game with a student ticket, but that hasn’t always been effective either, LaFrenz said.

“The idea around the hockey tickets is to get the season tickets in the hands of students,” he said. “Not former students, or dropouts or graduates, but actually students.”

Demand for hockey tickets is also why students were faced with the option of getting tickets for either Friday or Saturday night games, LaFrenz said.

“I can manage the $150 for season tickets,” political science senior Geoff Thomas said. “Buying a single game ticket, it’s $30 or $28; that just seems unreasonable to me.”

The fact that other sports offer discounted student tickets for single games is unfair, Thomas added.

“It’s absolutely ridiculous,” chemistry senior Max Mason said. “You’re paying for a seat, and you should let whoever wants to sit in it, sit in it.”

The policy is also intended to prevent students from selling their tickets for possibly double what they paid, LaFrenz said.

For any postseason appearance the Gophers make, ticket values could skyrocket. Mason, who is studying abroad this spring, won’t be able to use them.

“Those tickets are going to be worth a ridiculous amount of money,” he said. “I’m not going to be able to sell them.”

Despite having his own season tickets, Mason also said he doesn’t understand the logic behind the policy.

“I’m really at a loss as to why it’s a good idea to prevent students from filling the seats,” he said. “They already sold the ticket, why not get people to fill the seats and Ö buy soda and food?”

The policy is unique to men’s hockey; no other sport at the University has regulations on who can use a student ticket after it has been purchased.

Sports like men’s and women’s basketball and football haven’t sold out the student section in a couple years, so officials can be more liberal with their policies, LaFrenz said.

Mason pointed to another reason for the policy.

“It makes a giant statement as to how important hockey is to school and how unimportant the other sports are,” he said.

While the policy might not affect attendance at all games, biology senior Matt Skolnick said over winter break especially there will likely be a number of open seats.

“The people who aren’t here and leave, who’s going to go?” he said. “All the seats are going to be gone.”

For the most part, students at Mariucci genuinely want to be there, compared to football games where people don’t really care, Skolnick said.

While he doesn’t object to selling football tickets, Skolnick said with hockey it’s best to have just students in those sections.

“As far as the hockey tickets, I feel like it’s more of a community,” he said. “Everybody on the team is from Minnesota; you take pride in that.”

The policy could also tone down the atmosphere at hockey games if student tickets are left unused by those who can’t make the game, Skolnick said.

Part of what makes Mariucci is the harsh reception that visiting teams receive, he added.

“They print that on the shirts, but they won’t let all the seats be filled if the people can’t go,” he said. “How are they going to take that right from us?”