Michigan basketball has been on a massive upswing since they began the 2010-2011 season 1-6 in league play.
The Wolverines ended up making the tournament and reaching the Round of 32 in 2011. They won a share of the Big Ten title in 2012. They made the National Title game in 2013 while sending the National Player of the Year to the NBA Draft’s lottery. They bring back one of the best sophomore classes in the country, sit pretty with a preseason top ten ranking and are competing with the big boys for some of the most talented recruits nationally.
Things are going quite well for John Beilein up in Ann Arbor.
But I guess Michigan is still a football school — Or academic school? Stop studying so much, kids! — because the Wolverines only saw an average of 46.1% of the student tickets that they sold get used in 2012-2013, according to the Michigan Daily, well below the Big Ten average of 67%.
So the school has decided to change the way that they give out student tickets. 4,500 student tickets were sold despite the fact that there is only room for 3,000 students in Crisler Arena. From the Daily:
Under the new system, Michigan’s 17 home fixtures will be split into six different pods of three or four games each. A couple of weeks before each pod’s contests, tickets will become available online for a 72-hour period. Students can then select which games they plan to attend, and the ticket will then be electronically transferred to the student’s MCard where it can be used or sold.
“The only con is not every student is guaranteed a seat,” Lochmann said. “But I think — we don’t know this — that if you want to go to every game, you’re going to go to every game.”
If a student twice claims tickets that he or she does not use, he will not be eligible for tickets to the next pod of games. If a student misses four claimed games, he will not be eligible for any more tickets. Even if he sells the ticket to someone who then chooses not to attend, the student will be penalized.
[…] For the Wolverines’ marquee contest against rival Michigan State, the Athletic Department will distribute its allotment of 3,000 tickets to the students who attended the most games.
“(The Michigan State game) is where we’re going to reward our most loyal students,” Lochmann said.
Students weren’t all excited about this decision, and Athletic Director Dave Brandon got hammered on twitter, but this policy makes some sense.
I’d be willing to bet that more students will be showing up to more games, especially if a ticket to Michigan State is on the line. As long as the devoted fans are taken care of, there shouldn’t be too much complaining by the time the season comes to an end.
Michigan fans, how do you feel about this?
And if you’re a student at another school with a similar policy, how has this worked out for you?