In a few short months, hordes of fans will line up outside of Bartels Hall in order to claim the Holy Grail of Cornell sports: season hockey tickets. The Cornell Athletic Department recently announced a change to the ticket selling process. This marks the third alteration is as many years.
Two years ago, the seniority system of selling season tickets was done away with in order to ensure that the diehard fans would get the best seats. Students could start lining up two days before tickets went on sale, and were assigned line numbers so that they would not have to camp out overnight.
This past year, a few changes were made to the system. Students were told that tickets would go on sale at 5 PM on Friday, September 28 in Bartels Hall, but were not given further information. At 7 a.m. on Friday morning, the doors to Bartels opened, and those who were awake made a mad dash to receive their line numbers. Those who were still asleep during the initial rush found that they had been bumped back a hundred spaces. The doors to Bartels reopened sometime after 9 a.m., and a huge shoving match ensued, causing more people to be pushed farther back in line.
“I thought [the line] was a little bit unorganized. You sit outside all night long, and when it’s time to go in, it’s a big mad rush,” remarked Allyson Miller ’05. “Everything’s all chaotic and everyone gets out of order.”
The new system that will be implemented in the fall will be a two-day process. Students will be given out line numbers on Saturday, September 21 at 1 p.m. They will then be required to wait on line until 11 p.m. On Sunday, students will return at 9 a.m. to pick their seats.
“It seems like what [the ticket office] is doing is trying to filter out fans who really don’t want to be there all day and really keep the dedicated fans,” commented Rafael Dionello ’05. “I don’t really like the fact that we’re going to have to spend all day [at Bartels]. I’d prefer spending all night.”
Dionello was one of the first students in this year’s line, and he was able to avoid the chaos that started soon after the doors were opened.
Once line numbers are given out, a student in line may only save one other person’s spot. This will help lower the amount of cutting in line. If someone is found holding more than one spot, each line number held by that student will be taken away.
“I think that giving out numbers in line will definitely help keep people in their spots, instead of just a mad rush into [Bartels],” said Miller. “People, for the most part, are very respectful. Everyone that’s out there is a pretty diehard fan. I think everyone is respectful of everyone else’s place in line,” she continued.
Dionello was concerned with the extra amount of waiting generated by the new ticket system.
“[Next year’s line] might be really different. Maybe a lot of people next year won’t wait in line because they know they have so much [waiting] ahead of them. It’s not like you have to wait until seven in the morning. You have to wait until 1 p.m., then once 1 p.m. comes, you’re going to have to wait until 11 p.m.. So it’s really a full day.”
With a more orderly and planned out process in place, the unruliness of last year’s ticket line will be avoided. Hockey fans should be pleased that the Athletic Department did not revert back to the seniority system or impose general admission for all student tickets. In any case, expect a huge crowd well before 1 p.m. on September 21, as many eager fans will be camped out in order to secure prime seats for the 2002-2003 men’s hockey season.a
Archived article by Jonathan Auerbach