250 tickets claimed for Alabama game
Published: Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Updated: Wednesday, October 13, 2010 13:10
For the University of Alabama game on Nov. 18, Georgia State Athletics has confirmed that approximately 250 tickets have been picked up through the Georgia State ticket office for the biggest game in the history of the young football program.
The Athletics Department maintains that the tickets were awarded on a first come, first serve basis and the number was based on Georgia State student demand.
According to Todd Reeser, Senior Associate Athletics Director for Development and the Ticket Office, in the contract drawn up at the beginning of the season, Georgia State was allocated 7,500 tickets for the game.
While factors such as the game taking place on a Thursday, being just before Thanksgiving break or less than a month before finals have certainly contributed to the low-ticket sales, it seems other factors may have contributed.
Georgia State students were sent an e-mail regarding a lottery for tickets. As for the e-mail notification, Reeser said the ticketing office coordinated with the Student Government Association, and decided the best way to reach the Georgia State community was through e-mail.
The e-mail, sent to student's University e-mail accounts on Sept. 23, stated, "Georgia State University has secured an allotment of five hundred student tickets that will be offered to current GSU students via a lottery system."
SGA President James Dutton said that SGA's role in the email consisted of proofreading the Athletics e-mail and coordinating the bus trips for the students that did secure tickets.
"The 500 number was given to SGA by Athletics," Dutton said. "They [Athletics] bounced several numbers around before the season. Then after they saw the number at each game, they set the number at 500."
The Ticketing Office immediately got many responses, and the number of tickets was expanded as a result. This process was modeled on other universities, and Reeser said it was a pretty universal procedure.
"I felt like we had a solid plan," he said. "The number was for students, if we needed to go higher we would have."
Reeser said that he and his staff set a four-step plan for distributing the tickets. Students were given a window of time following the e-mail notification to enter the lottery, and the amount of ticket sales was based on this response. Once students received this notification, they had two days to claim their tickets. By gauging the student response, the ticket office was able to avoid distributing tickets to anyone other than Panther fans.
The game, moved up two days from Nov. 20 at Alabama's request, will be Alabama's homecoming at Bryant-Denny stadium, a massive venue that can hold up to 101,821 fans, according to www.rolltide.com.
Many Georgia State students heard about the lottery, and were discouraged about their chance at attending.
Kalli Walker, a senior and journalism major, has family in Alabama and was planning on attending the game, even after the date was changed from Saturday to Thursday.
"I was willing to take off work and everything," Walker said.
Many students read their e-mail, saw that the process was a lottery, and assumed they would not be able to get a ticket. Walker had this mentality too, but she was able to secure one ticket. Walker had hoped on making it a group outing.
"Although I was able to get a ticket, I don't have any friends that have tickets, so I won't be going," Walker said.
Freshman Ebony Brown also did not think getting a ticket through the lottery was feasible. The tickets, priced at $40 with an additional $3 handling fee, was also a concern for Brown. Reeser said that is how much an away ticket would be regardless of where the student purchased it. Still, Brown made the effort to get the ticket.
"It's worth a try, might as well try to get a ticket," Brown said. Like Walker, Brown said her friends did not think they would be able to get tickets, so they did not enter the lottery. However, she did as soon as she received the e-mail.
Freshman inside linebacker Cole Moon said he hopes that students will find a way to come out and show their support.
"We need as many fans as we did the first game," he said.
Fans still interested in making the trip to Tuscaloosa should look to the Athletics site for updates.
As stated on www.georgiastatesports.com:
"Students will have the ability to purchase GSU football regular season away game tickets. A limited number of tickets will be held for students to purchase for any away game and quantities will be based on the supply available to the Department of Athletics. An announcement will also be made on the student ticket page at www.GeorgiaStateSports.comregarding availability.
"Unless otherwise noted, all away game tickets are assigned seats at the opponent's stadium. Students who purchase away game tickets will be notified via e-mail by the GSU Athletics Ticket office when their tickets are available to be picked up. If students wish to sit together for an away game, it is encouraged that those students pick their tickets up at the same time."