In the past five days, over 1,000 students spent a total of approximately 45 hours waiting for tickets. In the process, they ordered hundreds of pizzas and wings and survived in sleeping bags and on folding chairs.
Around 8:45 p.m. last Wednesday night, students converged in the parking lot north of Berman Field to get a chance at a line number for this year’s varsity hockey ticket sale.
Beginning at 10 p.m. that night, the lucky undergraduate and graduate students that received line numbers were a part of a revamped waiting process that kept them occupied for parts of four consecutive days.
The ticket system began in Barton Hall on Wednesday night and finished in the Ramin Room in Bartels Hall with seat selection late Saturday.
“There haven’t been many complaints about the time commitment,” said Gene Nighman ’81, director of athletic tickets and events, on Friday night.
“The process was fair, and it went very well,” he added.
Students camped in Barton Hall from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. on Wednesday and Thursday nights and were subject to line checks during those time periods.
Bill Guarniere, an athletic department intern from SUNY-Cortland, largely ran the show on those nights. Every couple of minutes he walked around the track with his megaphone announcing the line numbers that would be the next to be checked.
“It’s not that bad,” he said, when asked if he was tired from his graveyard shift, while yawning.
Students kept themselves occupied with homework, video games and even sports, including basketball and rugby. ROTC members sold food in the late evening and early morning hours.
A large group of students gathered around a projector screen on Thursday night to watch the debate between the presidential candidates.
“It feels like sleepaway camp,” said Dan Greenwald ’05.
On Wednesday night, a male student who illegally brought alcohol with him to Barton Hall was taken away by Bangs Ambulance after becoming intoxicated. He was brought to Cayuga Medical Center and was treated and released, according to Simeon Moss of the Cornell News Service.
Once the two nights in Barton were over, students were told to reconvene in the Ramin Room at 7 p.m. on Friday night. They stayed there until Saturday evening when ticket distribution began.
Students were very excited about the ability to see Cornell hockey live at Lynah Rink this season.
“Cornell hockey was part of my reason for coming here,” said Kaitlyn Van Arsdell ’08.
“Getting hockey tickets is a lot of fun. I am an R.A. and we have 10 line numbers for the hall and we are really excited,” said Hanna Muenke ’06.
However, some others were unhappy with how the process was coming along. “They are evil, they should have [given out the tickets] tonight,” said Justin Henck ’07 on Wednesday night.
Still others, while accepting of the process, were disappointed with where they ended up in line.
“I’m really annoyed because I was number 12 last year and now I am 540, but at least I am in the building,” Greenwald said.
“I am used to getting negative comments, but pretty much everything has been positive. Certainly people who don’t get line numbers will have negative comments,” Nighman said.
Last Monday night, a line began to form outside of Barton Hall, where students believed the hockey ticket sale was going to start.
“We planned to have people camp in Barton, and we may have [given out undergraduate line numbers] there, but there was no announcement,” Nighman said.
When students arrived at the Ramin Room on Friday night, they were immediately subject to a line check and then were introduced to the hockey team by Coach Mike Schafer ’86.
After giving out some team-signed hockey sticks, Schafer asked the students to be sure to arrive to games early because, he explained, opposing teams become the most intimidated during warm-ups.
Team members then mingled with students while goaltender Louis Chabot ’06 gave students a chance to try to score a goal on him in the back corner of the room.
The Travis Rocco Band performed and students had the chance to use the climbing wall while they were waiting.
At one point, someone dressed in a Spiderman costume began to climb on the net separating the Ramin Room from the climbing wall.
During the festivities in the Ramin Room, many students filed into Lynah Rink to watch the club hockey team take on Ithaca College.
The Ithaca fans taunted the Cornell fans with their ferocity, sometimes cheering “Cornell sucks!” but the “Lynah Faithful” responded similarly, warming up their cheers for the upcoming varsity season.
On Saturday, the Big Red Pep Band came to fire up the weary fans by playing songs usually played at hockey games and inducing cheers from the crowd.
That night, the excited fans lined up to retrieve their tickets.
During a speech to the fans on Friday night, Ari Baum ’07, spoke about how important being a fan of the hockey team was.
He echoed Coach Schafer’s plea to arrive at games on time and asked students not to sell tickets at inflated prices.
“With getting tickets comes a great responsibility. Cornell hockey is not a social function. Cheer loudly on a consistent basis,” Baum said.
He added, “Finally, and most important: Harvard sucks!”
Archived article by Eric Finkelstein
Sun News Editor