Almost 10,000 people have signed a petition calling for changes to the ticketing process at Clemson University, with critics claiming the cost of attending sporting events each term is now as expensive as student meals.
Alyx Farkas, a sophomore at Clemson in South Carolina, set up the online petition in an effort to influence the athletics department to reconsider its ticketing procedure.
She also sent the Clemson president, athletic director and board of trustees her message, in which she said that the process to get a ticket has become “impossible.”
In her petition, Farkas expresses concerns over the cost of tickets, which she says “can be as expensive as the cost of books for the semester or maybe even a meal plan or housing or tuition.”
Students can pay a voluntary fee to become associated with the IPTAY Collegiate Club, which is $40 (€33.54/£30.66) for the year, or $130 for all four years, which would grant priority on football tickets. However, Farkas noted in her statement that even these students struggle to obtain tickets for games.
There are 10,500 free tickets for Clemson students out of the 80,000 seats in Death Valley, meaning 13 per cent of the stadium is reserved for students. Only 3,500 of the available student tickets are reserved for IPTAY members, meaning that many students are paying the fee without necessarily getting tickets every week.
Those associated with IPTAY that don’t receive tickets then need to apply with the rest of the student body during their allotment period for limited seats.
In addition, Clemson implemented an ‘electronic line’ for students to wait in, which reportedly takes up to 40 minutes to apply through. Farkas said that the old ‘block seating’ method would only take around five minutes.
Another issue the students face is that seats get assigned to different areas of the stadium, therefore if one student is on the hill, but a friend has a seat in the upper deck, they cannot watch the game together.
“The main thing is, this was not meant to hurt anyone and not to point fingers but really to bring awareness because I know a lot of the students feel the same way,” said Farkas, who added students have contacted her on Facebook and alumni have emailed her. “We all love Clemson football. Everyone just wants the best for our Tigers and for our Clemson family.”
The Post and Courier newspaper reported that according to Clemson’s athletic department, Clemson only did away with block seating because of a specific request from Clemson’s student government that it do so. The athletic department also said Clemson is the only Division I school in the country that does not charge students for tickets — whether that be in the form of charging for a specific game or charging students via their student fees with an allotted amount going toward athletics. Those paying for IPTAY do so on a voluntary basis.
“I am optimistic,” said Farkas, who is meeting with student government Friday. “I love Clemson. It’s where my heart is and will always be.”
In other US college news, Southern Connecticut State University has linked up with Etix to provide an online platform for people to purchase tickets to American football games.
Tickets for the 2017 season will be $10 for adults, $7 for children over 12 and seniors, while children under 12 enter for free.
SCSU students, faculty and staff will again receive free admission to all football contests with a valid ID.