opinion: new student ticket policy takes away from fans
By Mike Gilpatrick September 12th, 2017
Louisville's student section against Wake Forest in 2016. Photo by Jared Anderson, River City Cards
if it isn't broke, don't fix it. the old policy was perfect
Saturday's matchup featuring the Clemson Tigers and Louisville Cardinals is the most anticipated game of 2017. Already, Papa John's Cardinal Stadium is sold out, ESPN's College Gameday is showcasing the University, and the game has been moved to 8 p.m. for a primetime slot and a blackout game.
With so much anticipation, changing the student ticket policy is the wrong move.
The old policy was perfect. In that system, every student would claim the game they wished to attend online, and the ticket would be uploaded to their student ID. Then, the student would go to a specific gate, and the ticket taker would swipe their student ID, and they would receive an wristband with their seat assignment. If they wished to sit next to their friends, they would just enter the gates at the same time. If they wished to get in the front row, they would get to the gate hours ahead of time. The first-come, first serve policy worked.
But the policy changed for 2017-18.
Now, students have to download the CardsMobile app on Google Play or the App Store, upload their information, and wait for the clock to count down until they could claim their seats. Their seat assignment is based on when they claim, instead of when they get to the stadium.
While it's good that students no longer have to wait in line for hours, there are many flaws with the new system.
For starters, there is no way for students to make sure they sit next to their friends. There is no way currently to link the student tickets together, so the only way students can sit with their friends is to make sure they hit the claim button at the same time. But even that won't guarantee seats next to friends. Last weekend proved this.
Sunday at 9 am was the first claim period for the Clemson game. As a student, I waited for the clock to count down until it hit 9 am. I then pressed the button to claim, and I was assigned a good seat. When I began texting my friends where they say, all of them were scattered all throughout the stadium. When I asked when they hit the button, all of them told me they counted down, and hit it as soon as they could.
Another problem was a glitch with the application. When I first clicked claim, it told me I was in the front row. Then, a couple seconds later, it switched me to the second row in the other section. The same thing happened to a friend of mine, but he was switched to the third row.
I did get my tickets fixed later that day, and I was placed back in the front row. My friend, on the other hand, contacted the same people, but found the glitch didn't show up in their system. His ticket is still in the third row.
I had another friend that couldn't claim because the app kept on crashing on his phone. He had to use his Dad's to claim the ticket. He tried to re-install the application, update his phone, and keep trying to fix the app, but it still kept crashing. Since the ticket is uploaded to the phone, he might not even be able to attend.
And there are many more students feeling the same effect.
It's understandable for the university to try and improve processes, but this game is the wrong time to try. It doesn't surprise me the system crashed for many people- everyone wants to attend this game. With the amount of people clicking the button at the exact same time, I'm surprised in a positive way that there weren't more errors.
That still doesn't excuse the fact that the University tried this new system out for the first time at the largest game of the year. Why not wait until the scrimmages in Men's Basketball when fewer students will go?
For me, personally, I believe it's a huge mistake the university made. My friends and I had a system going. We would get there early and enjoy ourselves while waiting for seats. This change makes it to where we can only sit next to each other if we push other people out of their seats.
And you can guarantee a lot of people will do the same thing Saturday. No one wants to sit next to random strangers at a game.
It's going to be a mess Saturday, and it's the University's fault.
They should have just let us get there extremely early instead. The old system worked. This new one, more than likely won't.