column: Student ticket prices leave Cardinals fans with empty pockets

By on November 1, 2011

By Nathan Gardner–

Among the perks of being a college student are the many discounts available for various school functions and activities, such as sporting events. After all, students do pay their fair share in tuition costs and may feel they deserve something in return from our school.

For students, especially here in the bluegrass where basketball is king, attending college sporting events is a big deal, ritualistic even. Getting the opportunity to witness a top-10 college basketball team in one of the nation’s best venues really is something special; the fact that students get discounts to these events makes it even better. But how great are these discounts here at the University of Louisville?

According to the Student Government Association, student ticket prices to basketball and football games are discounted for students. However, there is no concrete formula for this discount. Student ticket prices vary on a game-to-game basis according to who the opponent is and ticket demand.

As a student last year, I purchased a ticket from the student ticket office in the SAC for the Louisville vs. Syracuse men’s basketball game, but I was not given a discount. I paid the full price of $35 plus fees, just as anyone else would through Ticketmaster. I specifically asked for a student ticket and was assured that this was it.

Although students may not get a clear price on individual game tickets, we do have an opportunity to buy season tickets at a good rate. But even with this there are catches. Men’s basketball season tickets cannot be purchased alone, but only as a package with football tickets. Also, if a student fails to attend 80 percent of the basketball games during the first half of the season, their season tickets for the second half are revoked and their money for that half is refunded.

Considering the Louisville Cardinal basketball team is one of the nation’s premiere squads, it is understandable that ticket prices may be high, even for students, but if we compare these prices to other schools, it doesn’t match up. At the University of Kentucky, where seven national championship banners hang in Rupp Arena and 23,000 plus Wildcat fans sell out every game, student tickets cost only $5. That’s right, just $5 for students to witness the madness that is Big Blue basketball and show their school spirit. At Western Kentucky University, students can attend basketball games for free with a student ID and can buy unlimited guest tickets for just $10.

If you travel to the other basketball powerhouse state of North Carolina, students also receive free tickets to see their University of North Carolina Tar Heels play. At Duke, students camp out in tents days prior to major games to gain admission with their student IDs. This legendary spectacle known as “Krzyzewskiville” establishes a town of student tents outside Cameron Indoor Stadium for a chance to see their coveted Blue Devils.

It’s amazing what a little gesture from a big university can do for school spirit. And with all the Wildcat hoodies running around campus, there’s no doubt we could use a shot or two of school pride around here. For starving college students that are caught up in exams and research papers, getting to scream and cheer for their team from the student section at a home game is an integral part of the college experience, but not if we can’t afford it.

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