Over 800 students arrived between Friday and Sunday at Bartels Hall to purchase men’s hockey season tickets. This weekend marked the first implementation of the much publicized “new system,” designed to ensure that the most dedicated fans received first choice of seats. Some arrived over 80 hours in advance of the actual ticket sale, while several hundred arrived in order to camp out on Friday night.
Publicized plans called for fans to start lining up at 4 p.m. on Friday afternoon and wait overnight at Bartels’ Ramin Room in order to be issued a line number. Each line number entitled its holder to purchase up to two tickets. Line numbers were scheduled to be issued at 1 p.m. on Saturday, and students hoping to buy tickets would have to wait in the Ramin Room until 11 p.m. on Saturday and return Sunday morning to select their tickets.
Instead, Gene Nighman, director of athletic ticketing, and his staff began handing out line numbers at approximately 10 p.m., allowing about half of the earliest arrivals to leave for the night.
Even though the official line-up began at 4 p.m., many students were waiting days before. Andrew Keisner ’05 arrived at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, 87 hours prior to the start of ticket sales and 66 hours prior to the planned issuance of line numbers. “I stopped by during the day between my classes on Wednesday to see what was going on, then I came here at about six. They kicked me out.”
Not willing to risk losing the number one spot, Keisner returned several times Wednesday night and all day Thursday, repeatedly being told to leave. “I came back again on Thursday at 8 p.m., and a I slept outside overnight. It was freezing.” He was once again ordered by ticketing officials to leave.
Returning at 3 p.m. on Friday, Keisner discovered that a line was forming near the Biotechnology building. “There were several people there by the time I walked to the [unofficial] line on Friday. They let me go in front of them because they knew when I got there.”
Keisner, however, did not receive the number one spot in line. Once tickets were issued, C.J. Minchoff ’05 held Line Number 1.
Margaret Sopher ’06, holding line number 14, reported that she had arrived far in advance of the official start of the line as well. “I got here on Thursday at 11 p.m., and was forced to leave. I came back at 1 p.m., and was forcibly removed by Gene [Nighman] at five.”
Sopher also could not be stopped. “I came back at eight that night and then again on Friday at one. There were enough people who had remembered me to let me ahead of the line that had formed.”
“I’m a huge hockey fan,” said Sopher, commenting on her dedication to getting her choice of hockey tickets. “It’s one of the reasons I chose this school.”
Many students were upset about the length of the process as they waited to enter the Ramin Room.
“It’s a waste of my time and my weekend,” said Marc Weiskopf ’05, “but I’ll do what I have to to get my tickets.”
“This is bullshit,” said Mike Lepage ’05, one of several hundred students waiting in line outside of Bartels Hall. “Last year was great — I came out at nine or 10 at night and it was just fine. I ended up with some pretty good seats in [section] D and they let us go at 7 a.m.”
“It’s fun! I’ve been out her for four hours and I’m still amused,” said Irena Djuric ’06. “I’m more of a hockey fan already.”
“They forced us into the hot, stuffy Ramin room but wouldn’t let my dog — who had spent as many if not more hours out there than most of these people — come in,” said Chad Rekasie ’05.
However, shortly after 10 p.m. on Friday night, Nighman announced the immediate issuance of line numbers, approximately 15 hours ahead of schedule.
Once line numbers were issued, each person could hold up to two line numbers, allowing half of the waiting fans to leave.
The remaining students came well-equipped for their overnight campout in the Ramin room. Many students came with televisions, VCRs, laptop computers, couches and various games and sports equipment in addition to an abundance of study materials.
By Saturday morning, the Ramin room had taken on a pungent odor, best described as a mixture of pizza and sweat.
Many students likened the odor to that of Lynah Rink during the Harvard game.
“I’m definitely finding a way of sneaking in a lobster,” Sopher said in regard to the Harvard game. “I figure dead fish could not smell any worse than this gym does now.”
Archived article by Chris Mitchell