Wednesday, November 29, 2006

More on the Ticket Situation

There has been a little action on the National Championship Game ticket front.

First, there were three letters to the editor in the Lantern about the tickets (and lack thereof). The first letter is from a guy who didn't hear about the lottery and was therefore out of town on Monday and missed the lottery. The athletic department doesn't promote a lot of the ticket opportunities very well specifically because they know that word of mouth alone will result in more demand than they need. It's a logical thing to do, but results in unfortunate situations like this. The other two letters say pretty much the same thing I said Monday, but at least they confirm that I'm not just a lone crackpot on this ticket situation.

Next up is a breakdown from the university of how their 16,000 tickets are distributed. Looking at all the people they need to give tickets to, it's tough not to appreciate how difficult their task is, trying to keep so many people happy. But then, other parts of it just serve to make me angrier. In particular:
  • They claim the student lottery distributed 1,100 tickets. But if you count the winning numbers, either by hand (as two people I know did) or by importing them into Excel (as I just did), you will find that there were 1,000 winners. Where are the other one hundred tickets? True, one hundred tickets isn't much to get worked up about, but why claim you're giving out more tickets than you are, when it's so easy to prove you wrong? That bugs me.
  • The "President's Club/Buckeye Club/Development" segment (the big time donors, for the uninitiated) gets by far the largest piece of the pie, receiving 4,900 tickets. For comparison, that's almost ten times what the season ticket holders received, almost five times what the students received, and nearly twice what was allotted for the players, coaches, staff, and their families.
Overall, it's a pretty clear indicator of who the athletic department wants to keep happy. Not the thousands of students or the thousands of season ticket holders. It's the people that donate all the money. That's not to suggest it doesn't make good business sense, though I do wish the athletic department's priorities extended beyond making money.

They will want to be careful. With tuition and other costs of post-secondary education rising, some students (everywhere, not just at OSU) are feeling like they aren't getting the same bang for their educational buck, like they are no more than a source of revenue for the university. The athletic department isn't helping, as tickets are getting more and more expensive and tougher and tougher to resell. Now the department is telling students (in particular, but also season ticket holders and, to a lesser extent, alumni) that they aren't an important enough revenue stream to warrant anything resembling the consideration for tickets that the big time donors receive. They aren't helping to foster much love for the ol' alma mater, and it might come back to haunt them when they need new donors down the road.

There is still a sliver of hope for us ticketless students, however. The athletic department has announced that there is going to be a second lottery on Thursday night for the unclaimed tickets from the earlier student and faculty/staff lotteries. I'm guessing it won't be more than a few hundred tickets, but hey, it'll help.


Andy said...

I hope you get a ticket to the game.

That being said, do you realize with a student population in the mid 50 thousands, that tOSU has a ton of alumni? I know you understand that. There will always be students and the ticket prices and tuition will go up. It doesn't matter. People will pay.

There is no more "bang for your buck" for going to college. It's the "no bang at all" you would feel if you didn't attend and you were working third shift at the steel mill that will eventually close.

There will always be people who feel the love for "the ol' alma mater". Don't tie your joy at Ohio State entirely to the athletics. Find other things as well, like Thursday nights at some dump bar where you meet lots of women.

By the way, the athletic department never calls for donations. It's always your school, like the College of Arts & Sciences or something. It's easy to say no to them. It's even easier to say "NO!" to the athletic department when you know your donation would just go to paying some old basketball coach who cheated.

You could always fly to AZ and scalp tickets. Bring your money. And, once again, good luck.

Sean said...

That is well-reasoned and logical. As such, I don't want to hear it when I'm bitching about not getting tickets. I'm whining here, dammit!

I don't mean to suggest that I don't love this university. I've received a great education at a price that, while rising, is still reasonable. Despite the occasional glimpses of the giant revenue-eating machine behind Mirror Lake and the Oval, I've had a great time here. I'm just disappointed that I haven't (yet) won that damn ticket, and disappointed that the donors are favored so much more than the students. I know it's unrealistic to expect otherwise, but still.