The University of Alabama has launched a new ticket app called FanMaker to encourage student fans to remain in the stadium for the full duration of an American football game.

Following complaints of empty seats in the student sections at Bryant-Denny Stadium, the US university decided to design an app to monitor the location of its Tide Loyalty Points customers via geo-fencing.

The loyalty initiative, which was launched earlier this year, was introduced to encourage students to stay for the duration of the Crimson Tide’s home football games.

Students who don’t leave early will earn credit “for their support in the 4th quarter. Those points will contribute to students’ priority access to regular and postseason tickets.” Points will also be awarded for credit hours accumulated and “priority access to regular-season and post-season tickets will be determined by total points earned over the course of each student’s enrolment.”

“We worked with our student leadership and campus leadership and recognised that we need to incentivise our students to stay for the whole game,” Alabama athletics director Greg Byrne told last week.

“We don’t want to penalise; we want to incentivise. We know things like SEC Championship tickets, when we are fortunate enough to play in that, CFP tickets, when we are fortunate enough to play in there, those are good incentives to say, ‘Hey, if you stay the whole game you’re going to have a better chance of getting those seats.’ Not guaranteed, but a better chance.”

Alabama coach Nick Saban, who last year complained about the student attendance, said: “I don’t think they’re entitled to anything either. Me personally, I think it ought to be first come, first served. And if they don’t want to come to the game, they don’t have to come but I’m sure there’s enough people out here who would like to come to the games and we’d like for them to come too, because they support the players. So, I’ve never said anything about that before.”

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