Long lines at the football ticket booth during the week are about to be a thing of the past.
Starting with Friday’s home game against Morgan State, students will no longer have to wait in line for tickets during the week for admission to the game.
A Rattler Card will do just fine.
“We just wanted to make things easier for the students,” assistant athletics director Alvin Hollins said. “Having to stand in long lines for the tickets didn’t make sense. This way is less of a hassle.”
On the day of the game, all students will need to go to either Gate 12, 13 or 14 on the east side of the stadium (the side facing the school) and swipe their cards through a machine. From there, students can proceed into the game. It’s that simple.
Last year, the athletics department estimated that there were around 5,000 students per home game. So, that means that the estimated 5,000 students had five days to get tickets. But often, lines at the ticket booth were too long for some students, who elected to leave and come back another day. Sometimes, the booth even ran out of tickets.
“Those lines last year were too long, and it would be too hot,” said Mike Smith, 20, a junior physical education student. “Swiping the ID card should be better, as long as the machine doesn’t break.”
Although students now only need their ID card for admission, the stadium will keep its “no re-admission policy” intact, meaning that once a student enters the game, he or she cannot leave and then re-enter, even with his or her ID card.
“We will still keep our ‘no re-admission policy’ at the stadium, just for safety reasons,” Hollins said.
Students get in free to all sporting home games because a portion of tuition goes to the athletics department. In fact, Hollins said that student fees make up one-third of the department’s current budget.
“Showing the cards should be better [than waiting for tickets],” said Nathon Green, 19, a sophomore business student. “They’re going to have three gates open, so lines shouldn’t be as long.”
There will not be a limit on how many students can enter the Sep. 6 game, or the Sep. 27 home game against Delaware State. However, for the homecoming game on Oct. 25 against Norfolk State, the athletics department said they will try to limit the number of students to around 6,000, but will use discretion depending on how many tickets are sold. Students will also not be allowed to sit anywhere but in the student’s section, on the east side of the stadium.
“I think more students will actually show up for games,” said Sherri Wright, 19, a junior pre-med student. “A lot of students didn’t want to deal with those lines last year.”
Football was the only sport last year where students had to buy tickets. Other sports, including basketball, were on the ID card admission system. However, this year will be an experiment for the football games. Next year, when the stadium’s capacity gets expanded to over 40,000, the athletics department may consider allowing students to use their ID cards for admission permanently.
“Depending on how things go this year, we may choose to do this again next year and in the future,” Hollins said. “We’ll see how everything goes once the stadium gets renovated.”
Kevin Fair can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org