Student football tickets have been at the forefront of people’s minds recently. First there was the issue with student section crowding at homecoming and then Baylor ran out of student tickets for Baylor’s game against Oklahoma.
Now that Baylor football is ranked in the top 10, football tickets are a hot commodity. For the past few decades, Baylor has done a great job of giving every student the ability to make it to football games with minimal effort on the students’ part.
This won’t work in the coming years, and Baylor should switch to offering student football ticket packages.
A big reason for the system’s past success is the level of interest from the student body. Baylor sets aside 8,000 tickets for students each game, and when fewer than 8,000 students claim tickets, the system works to perfection. With interest peaking, more than 8,000 students are trying to claim tickets, so the system has been altered, and rightfully so.
Baylor’s national attention coupled with the excitement of the opening of Baylor Stadium next fall means that the ticket system needs some amendments. No longer can Baylor expect that student tickets go unclaimed. Demand is high and supply is going down, with Baylor Stadium holding 5,000 fewer seats than Floyd Casey Stadium.
Football tickets are currently included in student fees. All undergraduates are required to purchase them. This creates an equal playing field for students to claim tickets at the Bill Daniel Student Center during game week.
Now that tickets are starting to become scarce, some students claimed their ticket with the sole intention of selling it or giving it away. This means that some fans who wanted to attend the game, who admittedly probably waited too long to claim their ticket, were turned away.
This is a problem.
A student ticket package would solve this problem. The football ticket fee should be removed from student fees entirely.
Students should have to go on BearWeb to purchase season passes into the stadium. This change would take tickets out of the hands of students that only intend to sell them or give them away. The rest of the 8,000 student tickets (if that number remains the same in the future) that weren’t claimed by season ticket holders could be sold in the SUB all week so moderate fans can purchase tickets for just the games they want to see.
In other words, everybody wins. Students who want to go to all of the games get their tickets, students who only want to go to big games can selectively purchase tickets and students who don’t want to go to any games can opt out of the fee completely.
Baylor will also have a better idea of how many tickets will be claimed because so many will be sold far in advance. That way, Baylor can get a better idea of how many non-student tickets to sell.
The main problem with a ticket package system is that overselling can cause the university to turn to a lottery system. This means that students purchase a chance to get tickets to certain games.
While this is a system that the editorial board would never advocate for, there is no need for that to ever happen at Baylor. For a comparison, Texas A&M, which has a form of a lottery system, has 44,570 undergraduates and a capacity of 82,589 at Kyle Field. If a lot of students purchased tickets in a non-lottery ticket package system, about half of Kyle Field would be filled, and that means that Texas A&M couldn’t sell as many tickets as it wants.
On the other hand, Baylor has 12,575 undergraduates, and even if all of them purchased season ticket packages, only 28 percent of the 45,000 seats at Baylor Stadium would be full, leaving plenty of room for Baylor to sell a lot of tickets to the public. The lottery system wouldn’t be necessary because of our smaller student body.
Bob Dylan once said, “The times, they are a-changin,’” and changing they are. Too much interest is a great problem for Baylor to have. Exciting times are ahead, and they shouldn’t be spoiled by having to turn die-hard student fans away.