April 30, 2002

Hockey Fans to Face New Lineup This Fall

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With the new sale format revealed last week by the Athletics Office, fans of men’s hockey at Cornell may have to wait a little longer for their prized tickets next fall.

According to Frank Araneo, associate director of athletics and chair of the committee that drafted the procedure, the object of the new format is to build up excitement for the upcoming season.

“Our goal is to fill Lynah Rink with the most enthusiastic fans we can find,” said Araneo.

To achieve this goal, members of the committee attempted to make the sale a “rite of passage.”

Beginning at 1 p.m. on Sept. 21, organizers will issue line numbers to those assembled outside of Bartels Hall on a first-come, first-served basis. Each line number will entitle the holder to purchase up to two season tickets the next day. With a line number in hand, students will then proceed into the Ramin Room of Bartels Hall, where they will be required to wait in order until being released at 11p.m.

During this stretch, organizers will conduct random line checks to insure number holders remain in the room. Any students absent during such a check will find their numbers invalidated. Students can have friends hold their line numbers if they have other obligations, but no student may hold more than two numbers or risk forfeiture of all the numbers should organizers run one of the random checks.

Lauren Lesch ’05, expressed shock at the amount of time students had to wait after being issued a line number.

“I waited long enough last year, this just seems excessive,” said Lesch.

Other students commented that they would “take the wait in stride” for their hockey tickets.

“It’s definitely a long wait … but if it means getting tickets to Cornell hockey, it’s worth it,” said Michael Pinkava ’05.

Anita Brenner ’87, associate director of athletics, commented on the excitement that men’s hockey engenders on campus.

“It’s really the first experience of the season,” Brenner said, adding that the “energy” of the line fuels the spirit which will later come to characterize the crowds at Lynah rink.

However, with a line some people think that there is the potential for unfairness with the system. According to Josh Bronstein ’05, one of two Student Assembly representatives who gave input to the Athletics department, this year’s format aims to lessen the line cutting seen last fall.

“While one to eleven may seem like a long time, it is our hope that it will be long enough of a supervised, official line to prevent most students from lining up the night before in haphazard, unmonitored lines,” said Bronstein.

Other new elements of the format include prepayment, where students must pay the $90 cost of season tickets before leaving the Ramin Room on Sept 21.

According to Araneo, the object of this prepayment plan is to lessen the time students will have to wait in line. Last year, there were three lines — one line to receive a line number, one line to choose seats and one line to actually pay for those seats. By having students pay while they would otherwise be waiting until the release time, organizers can eliminate the need for this third line.

On Sept. 22, line number holders will return to Bartels Hall for seat selection and ticket pickup. Starting at 9 a.m., organizers will move consecutively through the line numbers, as students choose their seats amongst sections A, B, D, E, F, and G. All other seats are reserved for sale to faculty, staff, area residents, and some for the opposing teams.

In previous decades, men’s ice hockey tickets had been sold by a line procedure. However, several years ago, students began to complain about the length of time spent waiting for tickets, and the department adopted a lottery system. Forms were mailed to students over the summer, according to Brenner.

This method gave weighted preference to entering sophomores, juniors and seniors, although it insured that a proportion of tickets did go to every class. According to Brenner, the problem with this procedure was that “it didn’t recognize the level of interest in the game.” Attendance was relatively poor, and, in one year, 40 students did not pick up their preordered season tickets.

Therefore, two years ago, the ticket office switched back to a line-based format. Despite some procedural difficulties, Nighman believes this indeed has brought more energy to Lynah rink.

“The students who are willing to wait in line make some of the most energetic fans of Cornell hockey,” he said.

Archived article by Michael Dickstein