By Rebecca Flannery
Amid mass confusion about student football tickets, Student Activities said they plan on standing by the new online distribution process.
The first run of the new online ticket process occurred 5 p.m. Sunday, when student football tickets became available six days before the Aug. 31 game against Southern Methodist University. This was the first time students had been through the website to reserve tickets, and frustration proved to be a side effect for some students.
Matt Burchett, director of student activities, said they understand the disappointment students are feeling about their not getting tickets, but are doing everything they can to maximize student seating.
“We certainly care to provide an equitable process,” Burchett said. “We’ll be working on all the technical difficulties that people have come forward with and we plan to have them fixed by the next reservation time.”
When students tried to log on to the website Sunday night, many were greeted with a waiting screen.
This was followed by an explanation of a 60 second countdown that appeared at the bottom of the screen.
Burchett said students were reserving tickets at a rate of three tickets per second.
“We ran out of tickets within the hour,” Burchett said. “In total, there are 8,750 student tickets – that’s about 70 percent of the student population.”
While some students may have seen a “server crashed” message, Burchett said he and his 18-member team monitoring the event quickly modified the wait screen to read, “please wait for the server to become available. The site is experiencing heavy loads at this time.”
Burchett’s team also monitored social media to see exactly what students were having trouble with. From there, they were able to identify and attempt to fix problems on their end.
Students both on and off campus were experiencing an array of different emotions during the beginning moments of ticket availability, said Brentwood, Tenn. freshman Corey Fawcett.
“It was the quietest I’ve ever heard Penland,” Fawcett said. “I walked in around 4:50 p.m. and saw groups of people sitting in their rooms. When I got to my room, no one looked up to say anything, they just kept looking at their computer screens.”
However, by 5 p.m., the residence hall became more vocal about what was happening online, he said.
“Frustration set in at about 5:05 p.m.,” Fawcett said. “People began wandering the hallways saying either to refresh or not to refresh their pages – no one was sure which theory would work. The first cheers came around 5:15 p.m. when someone had finally got through and reserved their ticket.”
Some students were on the website a half-hour in advance, Katy junior Maggie St. John said. She and her roommates started waiting at 4:30 p.m. on the website.
“I actually didn’t even create my account until a few minutes before,” St. John said. “But right at 5 p.m. I was able to log on and reserve my ticket.”
Unlike St. John who was able to get her ticket right away, some students waited through dozens of countdowns before getting through to the site and others tried to refresh the page to make the process go more quickly, St. John said.
Burchett said while there may have been some frustrating moments with the online system, he and the athletic department believe it is a more efficient way to distribute tickets rather than having students wait in line like in the past.
“One thing the students always communicated to us was how the wait line for distribution was always a challenge for them,” Burchett said. “So years ago when we started planning McLane Stadium, we began re-envisioning the ticketing process.”
According to the Baylor student ticketing website, those who were unable to get a ticket will still have a chance on Sunday on a first-come-first serve basis. Four hours prior to kick-off on Sunday, returned or unused tickets will be distributed from the Bill Daniel Student Center ticket office.
Lariat Broadcast News Producer Alexa Brackin contributed to this story.