Hey Kevin Anderson, something is broken and needs to be fixed. Look, I’m not going to lie, I’m not your biggest fan. I’ve been disappointed in some of the decisions that have been made in the very short amount of time you have been here. And I have not been shy about expressing my dissatisfaction, but I’m also a Terp. And I’ll eat a whole bakery of humble pie if it means success on the athletic fields at College Park. In short, I’d much rather you prove me wrong, then prove me right.
With all that aside, I do see one potential problem that you could fix that would immediately get you some street cred among those who have been your biggest critics. The current student ticket policy is a joke. It has been for several years, yet no one has been willing to take on this terrible beast. And I cannot for the life of me figure out why.
The whole Loyalty Points idea is great on paper. I don’t think anyone can disagree with that, it was obviously well thought out, and had the best of intentions. However, like many great ideas on paper, it isn’t making it in the real world.
You need not go any further than last Wednesday’s FSU game. This was a must win game against a team ahead of us in the standings, yet there were scores of empty seats in the student section. As an alumni from the Keith Booth era, this made me scratch my head. There was a time when a Maryland Basketball ticket was worth its weight in gold (for that analogy to work you need to picture the ticket weighing about 5 lbs). You know why it was worth it’s wait in gold? Because you had to go get it.
I don’t know how many times I had to walk to the ticket office with my deadbeat roommates ID to pick up our Football tickets. If we wanted Duke or Carolina basketball tickets we camped out. I know that seems unbelievable now, but those camp outs were some of the best memories I have from college. And as I left Cole Field House at 5:45 in the morning with my Carolina Ticket in hand, not even the jaws of life would have been able to pry it free.
Now students get their tickets at the computer. The system decides who gets Duke tickets based on Loyalty points that are awarded to students by assigning points to certain actions. For example (and you can read about all this Here). One point is awarded for attending a game where the ticket demand is deemed high. One point is earned for attending a game played over a holiday, and two points are awarded for attending a game where the demand for tickets was less than the supply.
On the flip side you can lose points if you claim a ticket but do not attend a game and fail to cancel prior to the cancellation deadline but do cancel before the gates open, and you lose 2 points if you claim a ticket and fail to show up and to cancel. My God, now imagine explaining that to your grandfather!
So this leads to the whole scan and leave phenomenon. Hey I don’t really want to watch Maryland-Wake tonight because 90210 is on (this meant a lot more when 90210 was the original version and a DVR was probably some medical acronym for a mosquito born disease in Africa). Solution, you simply scan, or have someone do it for you, and leave. Hence sold out games with empty seats.
Now for those who know me, there can’t be a complaint without a proposed solution, so how about this. Tickets get released on a first come first serve basis. If you want them go and get them. If you want Duke Tickets, grab your sleeping bag. Is this the most efficient way to do things, no, certainly not in this day and age, but does this guarantee that Comcast will be filled each and every night by students who want to be there? Absolutely.
I know once things have been automated on a computer, they never go back to the old fashion way, it’s progress I get it. But we have a policy that works for one home game a year. The rest of the season it back fires royally. Let’s fix this.
It is only human nature to value things that are hard to come by, and discount those that come easily. I think back to when I was a kid, I saved and saved for a remote control airplane. I did chores and dreamed of the day I got that plane. Had I opened that plane on Christmas Day I would have been excited but probably over it by February, but by earning that plane, I would have treated it with the utmost respect. Of course that above example was hypothetical. Turns out my older sisters stole money out of bank, and referred to me as the Bank of Bob all through their High School days, but that’s another post….or therapy session.
Anyway, any system that produces the kind of student turn out we saw against FSU is broken and needs to be fixed. Mr. Anderson here is your chance to make a change for the better, and I think we can all agree to that. Except maybe the kids who scan and leave, but screw them!
PS: No time today, but coming soon is GET RID OF STUPID DUKE WEEK!