September 18, 2000

Dedicated Hundreds Wait For Hockey Season Tickets

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The Lynah Faithful saw action for the first time this year over the weekend, as students waited in line at the fieldhouse for tickets to men’s hockey home games this year.

The athletic department was hoping the new line system would encourage the most excited, rabid fans to get the best tickets.

Students were supposed to start lining up for tickets at 2 p.m. on Saturday, but the first in line were there long before the afternoon start time. Andrew Gilman ’04 and his group were in line before dawn on Saturday morning.

“We figured we would start [shifts] at 4 a.m.,” Gilman said.

However, Gilman’s group was not the only one there before 2 p.m.; by noon they were joined by roughly 125 others. This caused some grumblings among the late-comers, since the ticket office had stated that it would break up any line forming before 2 p.m.

The conclusion of the queue will occur today this afternoon, as those near the front of the line will pick up their tickets shortly before 5 p.m..

“The goal of the entire operation was to let the best hockey fans get tickets,” Brian Duprey, the Assistant Ticket Officer manager, said.

Gilman agreed, claiming that the system benefited the better fans, regardless of their seniority.

“We are all freshmen, and that’s sort of the benefit of the new system — it doesn’t favor seniors; it’s an egalitarian system. You need to show up, and you get [tickets] if you are the earliest,” he said.

Brett Ownes ’03 also felt the system promoted the better fans getting tickets, as compared to lottery system used for the past few years.

“I think the fans are going to be pretty intense, which is good,” Owens said.

Once students received their line numbers, they were allowed to wait in the Ramin Room of the athletic fieldhouse. Because each person in line was allowed to hold up to four line numbers, most students rotated in and out of the line with friends,

While in line, students found a myriad of ways to keep busy. Sleeping, studying, playing catch with a football or kicking a soccer ball around were all popular activities. One person brought a television and a Sega DreamCast to pass the time.

The athletic department also sponsored various events to make the atmosphere more enjoyable for all. The men’s and women’s hockey teams arrived around 8:30 on Saturday night to spend time with their fans and put on a little clinic. Fans were also able to take shots on goalies Ian Burt ’01, Chris Gartman ’03 and Matt Underhill ’02. The Hot Truck also made an appearance on Saturday, while the Big Red pep band arrived yesterday afternoon.

Finding creative ways to pass time was crucial, because people were forced to stay in line at all times due to random line checks. If a number was not in line at the time of the check, the holder of that number lost his or her spot. However, the athletic department anticipated students’ desire to leave the line last night for the Guster concert and closed the line early last night.

“I think the students have been very cooperative [while in line],” said Anita Brenner, associate director of athletics. “Some were pleased to be there and some seemed really upset by the process. A lot of people regretted the time commitment.”

Brenner said the random checks were to implemented to ensure that no one cut into the line during the waiting period.

“Past experience told us that students would show up several days in advance, so we wanted to limit that time and give them a warm dry place to wait it out,” Brenner said.

The decision to go to the queue system stems from a lack of enthusiasm in the stands over the past few years. In the past few years, up to 40 people were not picking up the tickets they had received in the lottery.

“The lottery system sold all the tickets, but something was missing,” Brenner said. “We’d like to recapture some tradition and some spirit that has been missing.”

— Gary Schueller contributed to this article

Archived article by J.V. Anderton