UND notched a hat trick Sunday.
For the third straight year, the student season-ticket process turned into a disaster.
If you want to read about the mess, go here. If you want to find out what’s next, go here.
There has been an ongoing battle with the students since the new Engelstad Arena opened in 2001. Battles have involved tickets, standing and swearing.
My idea to solve the issues:
1. Get rid of the student season tickets all together. At the old arena, there were no season tickets. I also didn’t hear any complaints from students about it. The Monday of every weekend series, you went to Wilkerson, Chester Fritz or the Union to buy a ticket for Friday, Saturday or both nights.
2. Make seating first come, first serve. That’s how it used to be and should be again. Students who whine because they can’t come at game time and get a front row seat… get real. If you’re going to wait two hours to get a seat, you should be on the boards. That’s the way it works all over the country. There’s nothing wrong with any seat in the arena, anyway. I sit higher up than anyone and don’t have a problem with it.
3. Move the student section to the end of the arena. I’m thinking Sections 104 and 105 in the lower bowl and 302A, 303, 306 and 306A in the upper bowl. Maybe the little parts at the top of 103 and 106, too (there is a stairway splitting it in half at the top). Season ticket holders move to the middle of the arena. This move means…
4. Allow students to stand during games again. I don’t know of another college student section in the country — of any sport — in which students don’t stand. With students in the middle of the arena, they are not allowed to because they block the view of season-ticket holders who try to look around them (and don’t want to stand all game). If you put the students on the end, nobody is trying to look around them. For the suite holders, rope off the top two rows of the lower bowl, so their view isn’t blocked.
So let them stand up and make noise, the way it’s supposed to be. And speaking of atmosphere… how about having the students right on top of the opposing goaltender while the Sioux are trying to rally in the third period? That should give the atmosphere enough of a boost where the students can agree to…
5. Tone down the foul language. You’ll understand in 10 years (dad.. mom.. what does it mean when they are saying…?). I didn’t hear any cussing at the West Regional and the atmosphere was better than ever.
Sure, there are compromises to be made with these changes from all sides — season ticket holders (ones who don’t want to move from behind the net), REA (if they are trying to guarantee profit by selling season tickets or threaten misbehaving students by being able to revoke season passes) and students (who may lose a few lower bowl seats and will have to get tickets several times a season). But they don’t seem to be major ones.
This way, students would be able to sit (stand, I mean) by their friends — including ones met during the semester — at every game, instead of having assigned seats for the entire season. The atmosphere should improve, and the season ticket and suite holders should be able to enjoy the games.
REA won’t be able to threaten to revoke season tickets from students, but the threat of them standing will no longer be an issue.
Does this proposal make sense to you, the stakeholders? Or does anyone have any better ideas? I’d like to hear them, so we don’t have to go through this again next year.