Discounted student tickets remain

The Big Ten tournament is March 11-14 in Indianapolis, Ind.

Michael Rietmulder

For the first time, the Big Ten is offering discounted student tickets for the 2010 Big Ten MenâÄôs Basketball Tournament, which is being held in Indianapolis, Ind., beginning March 11. Each Big Ten school is allotted 75 tickets at the discounted rate of $50 for all sessions of the tournament, more than $100 off the $165 fee for the general public. Tickets may be purchased through the University of Minnesota ticket office. In order to be guaranteed seats in the UniversityâÄôs block, students must purchase their tickets by Jan. 31. Daryl Seaton, Big Ten assistant commissioner for marketing, said there was pressure from both fans and conference administrators to offer the special student rate. âÄúThere was quite a bit of interest in making sure students had the ability to come to games,âÄù Seaton said. Seaton said the Big Ten doesnâÄôt have the ability to track student attendance specifically. In past seasons, tickets were simply sold to the public, not specific groups of people. âÄúBy and large, though, I would say our student turnout has been pretty low because they canâÄôt afford the tickets,âÄù Seaton said. The Big Ten is in the third year of a five-year contract with the city of Indianapolis, with the tournament being held at Conseco Fieldhouse, home of the NBAâÄôs Indiana Pacers. âÄúThe environmentâÄôs great, I mean, ConsecoâÄôs a great venue,âÄù Seaton said. âÄúFans are into the game; the atmosphereâÄôs really loud.âÄù Matt Slieter, spokesman for the University menâÄôs basketball team, recalled the teamâÄôs 2008 experience at the tournament as one with heavy fan opposition. âÄúWe played Indiana a couple years ago and we actually beat them on Blake [HoffarberâÄôs] last second shot, but Bloomington, Ind., is about an hour away from Indianapolis, so it was packed with Indiana people,âÄù Slieter said. Slieter said Indiana University, Purdue University and the University of Wisconsin notoriously have strong fan support at road games, adding âÄúwe hold our own as far as fans that are there.âÄù According to Seaton, Purdue sold out of their student tickets within three weeks and will likely receive additional tickets that the Big Ten had reserved for Iowa University and Penn State University, who declined to purchase their allotted share. As of Monday, Seaton said the University of Minnesota had 60 tickets remaining at the discounted rate.