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Athletics Should Reform Ticketing, Student Seating

After A Productive Start To His Directorship, Bates Must Now Consider Pressing Needs In Athletics

Published: Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Updated: Wednesday, February 6, 2013 23:02

Athletic director Brad Bates hosted the second Town Hall for football season-ticket holders last Saturday before the men’s basketball game against Clemson. Bates took suggestions from the fanbase on what Boston College is doing right in terms of gameday experience and where it can improve. He also brought new head coach Steve Addazio to the event, a move that showed the accessibility and approachability of two of the athletic department’s most prominent figures.

The Heights commends Bates for taking in as much information as possible in order to improve the fan experience for next season. We hope that he reaches out to the student body in a similar way. The game experience can be improved not only for alumni ticket holders, but for students as well, and those students who regularly attend the football games undoubtedly have opinions on the matter which could be of value to Bates.

Bates has also done a good job supporting all of BC’s athletic programs, shaking the teams’ hands before and after games, win or lose, with encouraging words. He is immersing himself fully into BC athletics and looks to be set on making improvements.

Not all of his moves, however, have been well-received. The football game against New Mexico State, originally thought to be a seventh home game, is actually on the road. The team is already traveling to California for the USC game, and will be making another long trip in order to play a low-quality opponent. This will also mark the fourth consecutive year that the Eagles will play six home games rather than the typical seven.

We understand that the ACC put all of the conference schools in a bind by forcing them to schedule an extra non-conference game, but the athletic department should have ensured that there are seven home games on the schedule next season.

On that note, The Heights also suggests that Bates focuses on fixing the student ticketing system and the seating arrangement for men’s basketball games before the 2013-14 school year begins next fall. Our current ticketing system is an archaic one, and unnecessary paper ticketing holds BC back. BC is the only school in the ACC and one of the only schools in the six major conferences that still uses paper tickets for sporting events. The Eagle ID doesn’t have the ability to merge athletic tickets onto the card, but that isn’t the only option for electronic ticketing.

The athletic department has discussed creating a BC athletics "credit card," on which student tickets would be stored. This, or a smartphone functionality with tickets, needs to be implemented before football season begins eight months from now. It would not only make it easier to get more students to the game, but it would also make it possible to implement useful rewards programs.

For instance, students that have attended every home hockey or basketball game, which could be tracked electronically, could have priority on Beanpot or Duke tickets. These dedicated fans would be rewarded for fully supporting the team during the season.

This is also an optimal time to fix the student seating at men’s basketball games. The team is expected to make a leap both competitively and in entertainment value next season, and students will be more likely to come to the games if the seating is improved.

The current student section, located back behind each basket, could be moved and replaced with benches for students. With some inversion of where the team benches are located, students could be shown on TV, making noise behind the opposing teams’ players and coaches. They’d also be able to pack together in much better seats than those located behind the basket, a good distance from the court. This move, combined with an improved team, would help solve the attendance and student fanbase problems hurting the men’s hoops program.

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