Men’s basketball student ticketing altered

Butler University students will need to pick up tickets in advance in order to attend men’s basketball games at Hinkle Fieldhouse this season.

For example, if a student wants to attend Butler’s Nov. 9 home game against Lamar, he or she would have to pick up a ticket from the Hinkle ticket office during regular business hours. He or she would then need to present his or her ticket and Butler ID at the student entrance to get into the game.

The ticket office is located inside gate four of Hinkle and is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The ticket office will be open until 7 p.m. on Wednesdays only.

The opportunity to get a ticket for the Lamar game began Oct. 21 and will be available every day after until no tickets remain.

A list of dates for when student tickets will be available for certain games can be found on ButlerSports.com on the Dawg Pound page under ticketing.

Formerly, students could arrive at the student entrance to Hinkle Fieldhouse before a game and gain admission without a ticket.

Tickets will still be free to Butler students despite this change.

A limited number of tickets will be available for pick up on the day of most home games and can be picked up at the student entrance (gate one) when gates open. Tickets may not be available on the day of a game that is sold-out.

The athletics department will update students through Twitter (@ButlerAthletics, @ButlerMBB) about the remaining number of tickets for each game.

Students will need to show their Butler IDs to receive a ticket and may also pick up a ticket for a friend if they have the friend’s Butler ID.

Sports marketing manager Lindsay Martin said the athletics department began to consider a student ticketing change before Butler’s game against Gonzaga last January.

Students needed to attend the preceding game against Richmond in order to receive a wristband guaranteeing them a seat for the sold-out Gonzaga game.

“It wasn’t the best process,” Martin said. “It was pretty inconvenient for students to be able to have to only go to the Richmond game to be able to go to (the) Gonzaga (game). That was sort of an anomaly for last season.”

Martin said the new process was put in place with the expectation that more games will sell out this season.

“We’ve joined the Big East, and the hope is that we have six or seven Gonzaga-like games this year,” Martin said. “So we needed to find a process that was going to accommodate not only our ticket purchasing fans and our students, but do it in a way that would be more convenient.”

With the new system, students will know in advance, through social media, if a game is sold out or close to being sold out and will not have to risk being turned away at the door.

Dawg Pound members will have first priority to get tickets for high-profile games, such as games against Marquette and Creighton.

Martin said Dawg Pound members will be given the opportunity to pick up their tickets before other students, likely a day earlier.

The lower-level sections behind both baskets will continue to be reserved for Dawg Pound members.

Sections 23, 24 and 25 will also still be general admission for students.

Other schools that use a similar student ticketing process include fellow Big East member Villanova, Murray State, and the majority of Atlantic 10 Conference and Horizon League schools.

“Most of the other schools in our conference actually sell student season tickets,” Martin said. “That’s not something we chose to do.”

Martin said she has not been part of any discussions about making Butler students pay for men’s basketball tickets but did not rule out the possibility because of the renovations to Hinkle Fieldhouse.

“With the ongoing renovations, the student seating will look drastically different next year than it does this year,” Martin said. “We’re still exploring all of our options, figuring out what we’re going to do there and how we’re going to be able to distribute tickets.”

Katie Palmer, Dawg Pound vice president of membership, said there is no set plan on how the ticket process could change after the first year of using the new system, but she said she foresees students will have to pay for tickets at some point in the future.

Another benefit that Martin said will come from the change is the athletics department knowing in advance if there will be low student turnout for a game.

Martin cited the Feb. 2012 game against Detroit, played on the day before Indianapolis hosted the Super Bowl, as an example.

“The arena was sold out,” Martin said. “But we had an entire section of empty seats because our student turnout was low. If we had known student turnout was going to be low, we could have accommodated that many more paying fans.”

Butler students said they see the pros and cons of the new system.

“I understand why they do it for bigger games, but I don’t think it’s necessary for every game,” sophomore Logan McBride said.

“For some of the games, it’s not necessary because not many people are going to go to exhibition games,” sophomore Brianna Marshall said.

Martin said the new student ticketing system will ultimately go toward improving the environment for men’s basketball games.

“I think that even though this is slightly different than what students have been used to in the past, everybody’s on board with giving Hinkle Fieldhouse the best home court advantage as possible,” Martin said.

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