Football season is one of the most anticipated times of the year at Florida A&M University. The football games are a time for students to show their Rattler pride.
FAMU’s student section is usually packed from top to bottom, side to side. However, at the last home game against Albany State, the rain wasn’t the only thing stopping Bragg Memorial Stadium from being packed. Many students were unable to secure a free student ticket.
Every student pays an athletic fee that is included in their tuition, which is $288.49. The athletic fee covers students’ free tickets for any home athletic game.
There are roughly 10,00 students who attend FAMU.
However, the box office informed students via email that there would only be 3,500 student tickets available for the game. Once all the free student tickets were claimed, students could purchase a discounted ticket for $15 at the box office.
In recent years, to enter the stadium, students had to log in to FAMU athletics’ website to download their game day tickets on to their mobile devices and then add the ticket to their digital wallet so that the ticket can be scanned at the stadium gate.
Before mobile tickets, all students had to do was show their student ID to enter the game.
With new technology comes new problems. Some students had trouble accessing the website and could not download their student tickets.
Mariah Williams, a biology pre-med student, could not obtain her ticket because of the website’s technical issues.
“I tried to access my free student ticket about five days prior to the game,” Williams said. “Every time I tried to log in, the website said ‘access denied.’”
Some students were able to access and download their tickets. However, those students who had tickets but did not attend the game sold their free tickets to other students.
Imani Williams, a junior from Marianna, wasn’t able to get a free student ticket but still went to the game.
‘I went on GroupMe and asked students for who had an available ticket,” Williams said. “I ended up paying a girl $15 for her free student ticket.”
Other students simply did not go because they weren’t able to get a free ticket.
Reynold Monestine, a computer science student, said he would not spend money on a discounted ticket that the box office was providing.
“I’m an off-campus student who pays rent,” Monestine said. “Why would I buy a student ticket when it is usually free?”
Mariah Williams said the athletic department needs to re-think its policies. “There should be the same amount of tickets as there are students,” she said. “So, no, I didn’t buy a $15 ticket because that’s not a discount of zero dollars.”
When asked about the lack of student tickets, FAMU’s box office declined to respond.