Gameday ticket pool pushed forward several weeks to prepare for Nov., Dec. games

The Baylor Line cheers for the Bears as they play against TCU. Photo by Russell Luna (Content Team) | Courtesy of Baylor Athletics

By Sarah Pinkerton | Staff Writer

In order to assist with student travel planning over the winter break, the student ticket launch went up on Tuesday afternoon for the Dec. 12 game against Oklahoma State, several weeks in advance.

As students begin remote instruction and remote final exams after Thanksgiving break, Student Activities decided to push forward the ticket launch to allow students the ability to plan ahead for travel back to Waco.

Matt Burchett, director of Student Activities, said this was the primary reason for opening up the ticket pool early.

“Not knowing if you had a ticket on the Tuesday of Thanksgiving and then securing a ticket with five days to go, then having to arrange for travel or accommodations or whatever else you may need to do, we felt that was a disservice to our students,” Burchett said.

He said this will be particularly beneficial to out-of-state students and is unusual compared to previous years.

“In a non-pandemic year, we would keep our four days advanced notice claiming process,” Burchett said. “Had we not returned home following the holiday and not come back to campus, or least not coming back to in-person instruction, I don’t think this would have been an option for us.”

Cody Gougler, associate athletics director for resource development, said he realizes students have a lot going on as the final week of classes approaches.

He said tickets are currently not sold out, and it may be too early to tell if they will reach their full allotment of 2,500 students.

“We’re obviously going to continue to send messaging out to students that there’s still tickets remaining,” Gougler said. “We have not sold out student allotment for Kansas State just yet but early signs are showing that at least the student section part, not the BERM, is getting close to being full for the Kansas State game.”

Burchett also anticipates that the games will sell out by game day.

“Having a Thanksgiving week game is always interesting, even in the years in which we’re under a normal rhythm and schedule,” Burchett said. “Having a game on the Saturday of the Thanksgiving holiday can get a little bit challenging because students are with family and at home.”

If students decide that they can no longer attend games in Waco while at home for break, they can return their ticket up until the Thursday before the game.

“Ideally, if the students aren’t able to attend, that they would notify BDSC Ticket and we can return their ticket and redistribute it to a student who is able to go,” Burchett said. “Students can claim tickets up until game time.”

However, Burchett reminds students that they are not able to sell their student ticket.

“Someone won’t be able to use — they can’t use the student ticket,” Burchett said. “Secondly, that results oftentimes in penalty and not being able to get access to football games for the remainder of the season, if not potentially for next season.”

Gougler said that he doesn’t anticipate this decision to be something that applies to future seasons.

“I don’t think we want to make a habit of it,” Gougler said. “There’s so much excitement about Baylor gameday and just to be consistent with our students, I think we would prefer in the future to always have the student pool the same week of the game leading up to the game.”

Gougler said that while he hasn’t heard any direct student feedback about this decision, he feels that it has been a smooth process so far.

“We’re looking forward to making the experience that we have for these final two home games the best experience possible,” Gougler said. “We really appreciate [the students] and are praying for all of our students as they head home for winter break.”