Hockey ticket rules changed

Jake Grovum

For the first series of the men’s hockey season, a tightened ticket policy greeted students at the doors of Mariucci Arena.

A week later, athletics officials reversed the short-lived policy that limited the use of season hockey tickets to those who purchased them.

The new policy allows any student registered for more than six credits to gain entry into a men’s hockey game with a season pass, regardless of the name on the ticket.

Originally seeking to ensure individuals who used student tickets were actually enrolled at the University, officials implemented a policy to allow verification of a student’s enrollment.

With a season pass and U Card, students can retrieve their tickets up to an hour-and-a-half before the puck drops the night of a game.

“We talked about it and figured out there’s a different way we could still accomplish what we wanted to accomplish and make it a little more student-friendly,” Jason LaFrenz, director of marketing and ticketing, said. “I think we accomplished both of those.”

The original policy stemmed from student complaints that nonstudents routinely found their way into the student sections, athletics director Joel Maturi said.

“Whether this has backfired, obviously that needs to be evaluated,” he said. “I can assure you, our staff wants to do what’s best and right for our students.”

The old policy, which didn’t allow students to share tickets among themselves, “didn’t make a lot of sense,” Maturi said.

Before officials reversed the policy, the only way Patrick Williams, an entrepreneurial management and political science senior, was able to attend a game was to buy a single-game pass for $27 or $30.

Now, Williams said he is glad to have another, less expensive option.

“The University is here to serve us students,” he said. “This is one of the ways they can do it, making sure we can attend and support our collegiate teams.”

Apart from potentially being unable to attend games, Williams said the affect on the atmosphere at Mariucci was a major concern.

“That was the real thing that bothered me; I really support this team,” he said. “I didn’t get tickets through the lottery system and the only recourse was to buy a triple-the-price ticket.”

While he said he understands the reasoning behind the original policy, Williams said it did more harm than good for students.

“I think they really were concerned with making sure that students were the ones going,” he said. “The University, obviously I think they realized it now, they were having a lot more negative effects on students than what they were hoping to do.”

Marketing senior Amanda Mrotek, who has her own season tickets, said the old policy hurt student attendance at men’s hockey games.

“It’s interesting, they were OK with there being empty seats,” she said. “At the first game, there was a lot of empty seats and I was like, ‘this isn’t good’ because you want to have a good student atmosphere, and that’s what disappointed me.”

While opposed to the former policy, Mrotek said the new guidelines will serve as a reasonable means to the athletics department’s end.

“I think the switch was a really good idea, and the way they’re doing it is really smart,” she said. “If they really are concerned about students getting into the seats, then that was the way to do it.”