By: Michelle Lewis
University of Louisville’s men’s basketball team opens regular season play Nov. 9 when they host College of Charleston. The defending national champions have earned the support of the student body but not all student ticket holders can be bothered to show up on time – or even at all.
When the Cards opened exhibition play against Kentucky Wesleyan this past Tuesday, only 352 of the 1442 student season tickets were put to use according to an email sent out to students Oct. 31. That’s just 24% of the tickets sold being used for the team’s first game against outside competition since the title game in April.
In an attempt to increase attendance, the athletics department is changing the rules. After implementing a change to a “first come, first served” system where students are issued a wristband as they enter the stadium for home football games during the 2012 season, the athletics department implemented the same system for basketball during the 2013-2014 season.
Now, they’re making a few changes hoping that to increase the number of students not just at the game but at the game before the team takes the court. Starting with the upcoming exhibition against Pikeville College, undergrads that show up at least 30 minutes before tipoff will still have priority for lower level general admission seating but those who arrive late may be penalized. Student season ticket holders who arrive later than 30 minutes before a given game’s start risk being sent to the upper level while graduate students who arrive more than 30 minutes before tipoff may be rewarded with a chance to move to the lower level student section.
This is intended to encourage students to arrive early and help create an energy and atmosphere in the arena that will make the KFC Yum! Center more intimidating for visiting teams and give the Cardinals an increased home court advantage as the university prepares to move to the ACC, home to some of the most legendary student sections such as Duke’s “Cameron Crazies.”
Students are also encouraged to transfer tickets for any home game they can’t attend to another U of L student so that the Cards play in front of maximum capacity crowds every night. This can be done by logging into your Student Cardinal Account and selecting “manage my tickets” after logging in. The school has also worked out arrangements allowing students to park in the Humana Waterside Garage at the corner of Washington and Brook Street for $5 for any home game.
The Cards are back in action Wednesday night against Pikeville before opening their 100th regular season on Nov. 9 when they host College of Charleston.