Student Section needs to be reduced

Submitted by bassmaster on November 10th, 2012 at 9:35 PM

I know it's their school now, but god damn, this has been going on for too long. Just reduce it by a section let people who will show up get those seats. Today it looked like 5,000 seats were empty through the first quarter. 



November 10th, 2012 at 11:19 PM ^

Perhaps our collective ass size is to blame?

The general consensus seems to be that students like to cram into the lower rows.  Also that the problem has gotten worse the last several years.

It was several years ago that the whole stadium was re-numbered giving each seat more room, right?

So, maybe the issue here isn't the attitude or responsibility of the contemporary student but rather the substantial amount of garbage food that we as a society put down our throats.


November 10th, 2012 at 11:40 PM ^

I have never seen the student section full at game time for a noon game against mediocre-to-bad opponent. It has been somewhat better during stretches when the team was better, but that's to be expected.

That said, turning the section into GA (or largely GA if you want to keep the first something rows as reserved seating to reward people for earning priority points for previous attendence, which would encourage attendence at other events) would get people in earlier. Yes, the section is something of a free-for-all, but people who do show up ridiculously late can and do kick people out of their reserved seats.


November 10th, 2012 at 11:42 PM ^

Clearly the university sees and is trying to deal with the problem as they announced the "Hail" program this year.  This is the positie reinforcement approach - please show up students and we'll reward you with stuff (no such program existed from 78-81 BTW).  

If this doesnt work then they'll go negative and start reducing number of tickets.  What's sad is down here in Ohio the OSU students cant even get tickets for every game anymore because demand is so high so the arguement that all programs are like this doesnt wash.  


November 11th, 2012 at 1:08 AM ^

and there are plenty of notably differences with the situation. First off, Ohio has 43k undergrads to our 27k. So yeah the demand in general will be higher.

Most importantly though, Ohio is a no nothing party school where the athletic directors laugh about how the football coach is the real head honcho on campus. I have plenty of friends here at U-M who skip games to spend more time studying. Just a hunch but I don't think that happens often at Ohio. The fact is, a quick google search will show you that MOST schools suffer from the same problem. There are threads just like this one on blogs all over the place. In fact, I found one on a Nebraska blog (with a pic of empty seats in student section included). If it happens in Nebraska, which also has a very storied history and devoted fanbase (and is located in the middle of a giant cornfield), then I really don't see why you people are so shocked it happens here.


November 11th, 2012 at 1:18 AM ^

HAIL is a really stupid system.  It's based on checking in on a smart phone app, which will then allow you say when you got into the stadium.  Has anyone ever tried to use any sort of cell phone data in the stadium though?  It's absolutely awful, making it pretty much impossible to send check.

I think the ideal way to do it is figure a way to notate each time a student's tickets are scanned,  and collect it and see who attends all the games and gets there early.  The people who get there earliest and the most often will be given better seats the next season, while the people with poor attendence will be given the worse seats.  For example a Senior who attends all their games, and is always half an hour early gets a seat in the first 5 rows or something like that.  While a senior who shows up late or only sporadically might be back in the 30th-ish rows the next season, along with the Juniors who show up early. (Obviously it'd haved to be fine tuned for groups and stuff, but thats the jist of it).

And then for the seniors, enter them into a raffle, where a handful of people who always show up on time are then chosen, and then given back the cost of their season tickets or something like that.


November 11th, 2012 at 12:22 AM ^

I'm probably in the minority here but I have never been to a game where I didn't at least get into the stadium at least a half hour early. I understand that some students don't share the same passion about football as others do. I do think something has to be done. There is a reason other teams have called us the most quiet 100,000+ in college football. I'm not putting that on the student section but they definitely set the tone for the other fans in attendance.

I had the pleasure of going to a Wisconsin game a few years back and their student section was so early and active the entire game. The best part about that experience was the rest of the stadium was so energetic and loud that I thought the entire stadium was full of students.

With a stadium and a football program as rich in tradition as ours is I think it's imperative that we amp up the atmosphere to a level that should be expected of such a glorious university. If drinking and partying is more important then please don't buy tickets and let a real fan have them.


November 11th, 2012 at 2:25 AM ^

Wisconsin is notorious for their half empty student seating at 11 am kickoffs. I'm looking around today and 80% of the stadium was sitting on its ass even in a close game and you think the students are even remotely responsible for that? Your "real fan" who would be getting the ticket instead would in all likelihood be adding nothing to the atmosphere.

As a student who showed up on time today, I am not interested in what loudmouths who never attended have to say about this, but for the rest, let's acknowledge that noon kickoffs against crap teams is a huge part of it. How many of the graybeards would show for a midnight kickoff against NW? How many left early to beat traffic? Talk about pathetic.

Another issue is the student body is becoming more and more from out of state, meaning they did not grow up watching every game. They get tickets cause it's a social event, not to watch football. It's their decision and I certainly care far more about having a quality academic/social experience the 45 weeks a year there is no football. If the game was last week, well I had 3 tests and 2 papers coming, so I sure would've been late or skipped entirely, and I won't ever be apologizing for that. Nor will I be calling daddy at the ticket office to ask for permission or whatever the hell some are suggesting. 

Reducing the number of seats just means the sorority girls who show up after the 1st quarter and leave after the 3rd in a tie game will still be doing that. Likewise for those of us who are simply busy. The freshmen or whatever would be left out and like it or not, this place exists for the students aka future customers. If you think otherwise then your entitlement complex needs a time out. Tickets are already so disgustingly easy to come by for anyone on the waiting list that this argument of giving up our tickets in the corner endzone for a "real fan" is laughable. So we can continue to be divisive about things that don't even matter, or accept that we all have different priorities.

snarling wolverine

November 11th, 2012 at 2:04 PM ^

Northwestern is hardly a "crap team."  If we're talking about UMass that's one thing, but all Big Ten games are important, and NW was particularly important because they were still alive in our division race entering the game.   If people have developed the attitude that even a game against a team that is 7-2 and ranked in the top 25 is crappy, then the problem goes deeper than we thought.  




November 11th, 2012 at 12:47 AM ^

Between the weak turnout now and the thoroughly vigorous turnout when I was a student is that Irishmen are now allowed to vote and football has been invented. Revoke the Irish ballot and return to the days when the only sport was arguing over who had the most siblings die of tuberculosis and we'll be back in business.


November 11th, 2012 at 2:14 AM ^

Do it like at Wisconsin upper classmen and lower classmen first come first serve sections.

With the current system there is no reason for the kids that dont give a shit to come early. And the dumber thing is that these kids get the same tickets as diehards.

First come first serve is the answer.


November 11th, 2012 at 3:37 AM ^

      who fucking cares if there are some empty seats in the student section.  I've never late to a game but I some how, some way, managed to enjoy the game perfectly well without having a meltdown over the open space 3 sections to the right and 75 rows up from where I sit.  There were scalpers all over hawking tickets for around $40.  It's not like there  you couldn't find a ticket if you wanted one. 


Personally, I find it much more irritating when people show up late for the games then when they don't show up at all.  When people are later there is the annoyance of them trying to squeeze into their seats and whatnot.  When people don't show the fans who want to be there get better seats. 


It's kinda funny to read people bitching about how the students don't deserves so many seats.  They pay a huge chunk of money (12 to 40k a year, depending on residency) to have the opportunity to pay $200+ for season tickets.  I'm pretty sure $12,000 would get anyone tickets to every home game.  It's not as if the students are buying up all the "cheap" tickets, their seats are anything but cheap.  You might as well bitch about the luxury boxes being empty.   Student season tickets (along with reputation, educational facilities) are part of the incentive to attract students to pay the 12-40k a year to go to the university.  They are a good investment for the University.

snarling wolverine

November 11th, 2012 at 2:08 PM ^

That's a nice idea but will never fly.  The university has always regarded the athletic department as a cash cow and certainly won't stop now that the budgets are getting tighter.  Not only is the AD required to raise all funds on its own, it actually has a terrible deal in which it pays out-of-state tuition for all scholarship athletes.  (Even if a kid came from Pioneer HS, our AD has to pay out-of-state tuition for him!)  So no, the university is not going to underwrite the cost of student football tickets.



November 11th, 2012 at 7:37 AM ^

Not a terrible idea. If DB wants to encourage early attendance, a good way would be to announce at the start of next season that they will track arrival time and reduce the student section by the average proportion of late attendees over the season, rounded up to the nearest section amount.

Let them dig their own grave. Let them know they are doing it. Let them feel helpless, frustrated, and horrified as they watch their doom creep toward them with each day of ineptitude, as their peers fail them time and again, as they have failed us all.

Maybe I'm being too dramatic. Still, I think it would work -- it would either encourage attendance, or eliminate the problem a different way if not.

Mr. Rager

November 11th, 2012 at 7:41 AM ^

How many people in this thread have given the equivalent of what a student will give to the University of Michigan?  And by that I mean stacks and stacks of cash.  Rack fucking city.  

All those people that did had a right to uninhibited access to student tickets.  And the people that didn't don't have a say in the matter.

This idea is asinine.



November 11th, 2012 at 8:32 AM ^

What about alumni Mr Rager?  Your arguement seems to rest upon the premise that only current students have the "right" to attend based on their relative financial contribution they are making and everyone else should shut up.  But I also paid "stacks and stacks of cash" as did roughtly 425,000 of my closest friends.  And I'll bet there are more than one or two of the nearly 1/2 million of Michigan's living alumni that are on the season ticket waiting list.

Want to solve the problem and make it "fair"?  Start giving out season tickets to ALUMNI (not just big money donors) on the waiting list in proportion to the number of unused seats per year.  That way it's "pure Michigan" getting the seats and the students who dont give a shit about football arent taking tickets away from ex-students who do.



November 11th, 2012 at 7:43 AM ^

If "this place" means the University of Michigan as a whole, of course you're correct. If "this place" means Michigan Stadium and the football that's played inside of it, you could not be more wrong. The stadium was initially constructed in 1927 with an official capacity of over 70,000, and the addition of temporary bleachers enabled crowds of over 80K, which was a figure many times larger than the student enrollment. In other words, from the very beginning, it was assumed that the large majority of fans inside Michigan stadium were going to be non-students, many if not most of them having no direct connection whatsoever to UM.


November 11th, 2012 at 7:53 AM ^

and get them to put up the dough for a pre-game FG kicking contest that's only for students. Four participants are chosen at random 30 minutes before kickoff, and are brought down to the field to attempt FGs from the 10, 20, and 30. Winner gets $1000 knocked off their tuition bill.


November 11th, 2012 at 8:05 AM ^

Since we're on the subject of student seats, I'll repeat one of my favorite "suggestions:" I think the student section should be between the 40's on the side of the field opposite the press box and cameras.  If the games are "about the student body," or "to improve student life on campus," why not have the seating arrangement demonstrate that?

 If they can't do that, they should at least put senior tickets there, and let students have at least one year of prime seats.


November 11th, 2012 at 8:43 AM ^

Friends and I go back for a home game every year and sit in the student section. For 6 years running I get there early or on time in the first 30 rows and someone is in our seats already. We always sit as close as we can to our real seats, then in Q2 or Q3 kids show up (usually girls) and demand we get out of "their seats". They go to security and we get moved. So we demand our real seats and then get smushed into an already overflowing row.


November 11th, 2012 at 9:15 AM ^

I haven't seen it mentioned on here, but I think the core of the issue is the difficulty in selling student tickets at this point.  Back in the day if you woke up on a Saturday and decided you didn't want to go to the game all you had to do was walk over to the stadium and sell your ticket for whatever you could get out of it. 

From what I understand you now have to "validate" the ticket (meaning allow the university to make extra $ on it as well as jump through a bunch of hoops), rather than just sell it to the guy on the corner.  Plus there is the whole issue of student IDs, points, etc.  

If I were a student I'd rather just eat the cost of the ticket instead of going through the hassle of all those steps, even though you'd prefer for the ticket to be used...


November 11th, 2012 at 9:47 AM ^

IME the validation stickers are an unreasonable and shameless money-grab. Jacking up the price to artificially equate to the normal tickets does not account for the fact that the experience is not at all equivalent. There are many "issues" with sitting in the student section, such as drunks falling on you, not getting your "real" seats, and general bedlam. Which appeals to some people, but pretty much just us degenerates. I say, let us degenerates congregate in the student section at a lower cost which reflects our lower value as human beings. Do you really want us drunk and belligerent next to your family in the real people sections? I think not.

Doc Brown

November 11th, 2012 at 11:43 AM ^

I would love this idea. Have one area be a student/general admission section. Just like Joe Louis Arena at the GLI. Let us drunks, degenerates make noise, puke, stand, jump around, and swear like sailor. 


November 11th, 2012 at 11:12 AM ^

I think its pretty simple, the difference is the validating of student tickets, 10- 15 years ago students would just sell their tickets to people, now people have to to pay an extra fee. I sat in the student section many times back in the 90's, students have pushed down, the difference is the simple fact they made it harder for non-students to get into the student section

steve sharik

November 11th, 2012 at 2:20 PM ^

...the lame-o wal-marts, profs, and alums leave early.  I don't see much of a difference.

Yeah, the empty seats paint an unflattering picture, but so does an army of middle agers bolting for their cars to beat traffic in the middle of the 3rd Q against Iowa in 2010, a game in which Tate almost lead a miraculous comeback.

FIFO is a good idea, but reducing the size of the stadium that generates the most noise is not.

If we're going to penalize students for arriving late, shouldn't we penalize 40+ year-olds who leave early?

Also, I've been in favor of having pro-style, individual chairs w/cup holders for years now.  It may not make sense in the student section, simply b/c it makes it way more dangerous when trying to rush the field.  And whether there are no seats at all or a collection of barca loungers or a Marine battlefied instructional course, students are going to rush the field after a huge win.