Tickets Sell Out In Record Time
Published: Thursday, September 20, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01
Hockey season tickets for students, as well as the new three-sport “Legion” package, sold out during the third week of August, a record-setting date for the Boston College Athletic Department.
“Last year, we changed the process to bill [ticket packages] to the student account, marketing all three sports,” said Jamie DiLoreto, associate athletic director of external operations. “This year, we took it a step farther to actually incentivize students even further by bringing a discount if you bought all three. We were fortunate enough that we sold out of the Legion package.”
The Athletic Department offered a discounted three-sport package in previous years, but when the program was reinstated last spring under the “Legion” name, the goal was to create a club for the most diehard BC sports fans.
Around 1,200 students purchased the Legion package before it sold out in August, with hockey the first sport to sell out because of the smaller capacity in Conte Forum, which sits just over 2,000 students in the student section, as well as the success of the team last year during its National Championship run. Football season tickets sold out soon after.
There have been complaints among upperclassmen who missed out on hockey tickets that a sellout in August was unexpected, but the Athletic Department maintains that they marketed the tickets to all students throughout the summer.
“There was communication before students left campus,” DiLoreto said. “There was a postcard sent to their house which was incentivized with gifts. There were multiple communications via email.”
DiLoreto also confirmed that incoming freshmen were not targeted with a specific marketing campaign, but instead received the same communication from the marketing department as the rest of the student body.
Students still have options if they want to purchase hockey season tickets. The Athletic Department recently started a new Young Alumni season ticket section which is right next to the student sections. This year the number of Young Alumni football tickets jumped from 350 to 1,200, and there are still tickets available for hockey. The price of the Young Alumni season tickets are $162 for the 16 home games, compared to the $100 student tickets, and they are available to current students.
There used to be a lottery system in place to make high demand season tickets more than just a first-come first-served process, but instead of going back to that system the Athletic Department is looking at implementing a rewards program.
“We talked about [a rewards program] in May, and we’ve been working with UGBC on that,” DiLoreto said.
The rewards system would theoretically be tied in to the Legion club as well. The Athletic Department is working on getting rid of the printed ticket and switching to some sort of electronic system as early as next year, which would be able to keep track of reward “points” for students. The accumulation of points by attending games and other athletic events during the year would give students with the most points priority when season tickets go on sale for the following year.
The Athletic Department is also planning events such as watch parties, open practices, and extra access to members of the Legion program in order to connect them more with the teams. The Legion will also be polled to see what kind of events the group is interested in.
“One goal is to connect our ticketed events with the student body wherever they have interest,” DiLoreto said.
One focus is making sure that a majority of those 1,200 members attend basketball games this winter.
“I think our goal is to connect them specifically with the basketball program,” DiLoreto said. “So rather than marketing to all 9,200 undergraduates all the time and trying to get that range, I think we want to focus on the Legion and then an overall marketing plan for the whole student body. But knowing they have their tickets in hand, that’s half the battle for us. Now it’s a matter of how to get them exclusivity and access to get to know the players.”
Among all the changes to try to make athletics more appealing to students, DiLoreto also confirmed that Ice Jam is under review due to decreasing numbers last year.
The UGBC has been working closely with the Athletic Department to implement these changes to the ticketing program, and both organizations are open to suggestions from the student body.
“The whole process of selling tickets is for the students, so I want to understand students’ perspectives and also educate them on what we have to work with and our process,” DiLoreto said.