New entry system for home games

Florida A&M University and Ticketmaster have come together to implement a new system for entry of the 2007 Rattler’s home football games.

Ticketing staff will only accept students’ new Rattler Cards in order to prevent graduates, former students and unregistered students from passing through the gates free of entry.

The last home football game of the 2006 season was the first time the card reader was introduced. Since then the ticketing office has been using it for home basketball games.

In past years it was much easier for anyone with a Rattler Card to get into games.

“The card reader has been very effective,” said Clayton Smith, assistant athletic director for event management. “Prior to it we had students that would flash their Rattler Card that graduated in ’96 getting into games free.”

FAMU spent an estimated $25,000 for the new system, which is now used for all paid sporting events. The system consists of a handheld card reader that scans students’ Rattler Cards and pulls up information on their FAMU accounts.

“If the student is in good standing with the university he or she will be able to get in, but if they have holds or owe money, a stop sign will pop up on the device,” Smith said.

In previous years, a major concern among students was waiting in long lines for homecoming tickets.

Krystal Sheppard, 21, a senior elementary education student from Miami said, “I just wished the lines were shorter for getting the homecoming tickets.”

Smith said fortunately the new system will be used instead of actual ticket distribution for the homecoming football game.

Tables are set up outside the FAMU bookstore, located in the Student Service Center, for returning students to get their new rattler cards free of charge. New students need to get their ID cards from the Rattler Card Office, also located there.

“A significant number of students have not picked up their new Rattler Cards,” said Helen Eason, Coordinator/Manager, of FAMU’s Student Services Center. “Even if you are a returning student who has lost their old ID card, we have one here printed for you for free.”

Although a large number of students have not retrieved their new Rattler Cards, there are some who have and are eager to attend this weekend’s game.

Starr Fain, 18, a freshman pre-healthcare management student, from Orlando said, “I’ve never been to a FAMU football game and I’m excited to show my rattler pride.”

Returning students will be able to pick up their new ID cards outside of the FAMU bookstore until all of the cards are gone. The Rattler Card Office is open Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Those who are not enrolled can purchase tickets at the ticket office located in the West Lobby of Gaither Athletic Center. Eastside stadium tickets are $25 and the Westside tickets are $30. Both sides are $40 for the homecoming game.