Trouble with ticket policy


For years, UNI students have enjoyed sporting events free of charge. But a new ticket policy may cost some sports fans more than they bargained for.

In years past, students were able to obtain tickets free of charge by presenting their student IDs at the entrance to games. This year, however, UNI implemented a system where students are required to reserve all their sporting event tickets either online or pick them up at the box office prior to the games.

Although the policy itself is not brand new, it caused quite an uproar over Homecoming weekend.

Many students tried reserving their tickets the day before the game and received an email saying that the student section was full. This forced them to either purchase an adult ticket for $25, or skip the game entirely.

Freshman elementary education major, Abigail Isenberg, decided to skip the game to avoid paying the fee.

“I didn’t want to pay for a game that’s supposed to be paid for with my tuition,” Isenberg said.

Isenberg went on to say that UNI’s “free” football games are something that has always stood out to her as a student, because the other state schools in Iowa charge their students for admission.

According to NISG’s director of administration and finance, Abbie Shew, this new ticket policy was first implemented because of the spike in basketball game attendance last year. Students were having a hard time getting tickets, so being required to reserve them online gave students an incentive for being proactive and ordering them ahead of time.

Shew explained that the policy change also acted as a guarantee that they would score a spot in the student section and avoid situations like what happened at the Homecoming game.

According to Shew, this worked really well for basketball games, because the student section is much smaller than the one for football games. Because of this success, the UNI athletic department decided to make this the primary way to obtain student tickets for all sporting events, not just basketball.

According to NISG, student grievances towards the Homecoming game are not going unnoticed. Shew said NISG is working with the athletic department to smooth out the kinks in the ticket system.

“With every new system comes problems,” Shew said. “But we all know it’s better to have full student sections without empty spots.”

Some students were unaware of the policy change until they arrived at the UNI-Dome, only to be turned away.

Senior music education major, Tori Piper, said as far as she knew, students could still show up to the game, flash their student ID and get in with no problem.

“As a senior, I’m super busy and don’t always hear about these kinds of things right away,” Piper said. “But I was shocked when I heard they changed the ticket policy.”

According to Piper, UNI should consider advertising the policy change more, because she belives that there is no excuse for students to get left out of their senior year Homecoming game due to lack of communication.

Although it’s going to take awhile to work out all the kinks, this new policy is likely to be one to stay, Shew said.

“We might need to use different advertisements to attract students to this,” said Shew. “And some revision will probably be made, too. But this system will likely be one that stays.”