We Out: A student view of the new ticket policies

Submitted by Michigan Eaglet on September 23rd, 2013 at 5:46 PM

I know that the new tickets policies for football and basketball have been discussed at length here, but this article has been getting a lot publicity today by many Michigan students, especially among basketball season ticket holders. It more eloquently gives the argument as to why the author and many other students (including myself) have sold back our student basketball tickets and how this athletic department continues to erode their image in the eyes of students and future alumni. It's decently long, but worth the read, especially by some of the fan base that are easy to dismiss the students as apathetic.

http://droptheglovesblog.wordpress.com/2013/09/23/we-out-the-totalitarianism-of-the-michigan-athletic-department/

Comments

lilwolve4

September 23rd, 2013 at 6:26 PM ^

If you don't like it don't go. I graduated last year and I have no problem with this policy. The department rewards those who are fans for every game not just the important games. You have some people pissed but I promise you a few upset students won't hurt them.

Blue Bunny Friday

September 23rd, 2013 at 6:52 PM ^

Where are those fans coming from?

Seriously? The rest of Crisler isn't more than half full for those filler games either.

I understand that now they can sell those tickets and make more money, but the point has been made above that you can build a relationship with future alumni, and in the lean years you can expect a more faithful fan base. 

dj89

September 23rd, 2013 at 6:33 PM ^

Get over yourself! "I had to pay full price to see Inferior opponents. Back when Bo coached ..." Ugh! Bo would have told you to grow a pair. We have scheduled cupcakes for as long as we have scheduled. "Why do I have to pay for improvements to facilities that I won't use?" Because that is how it works. As an institution we build on the shoulders of giants and to future students you are one of those giants.

These are the momentous issues of injustice that occupy students now? Maybe they should stage a sit in. But don't sit too close to Jay ... Smells like vinegar.

Edit: And what are the "upper annals" of the stadium?

FGB

September 23rd, 2013 at 11:39 PM ^

"why should I have to pay for improvements I won't even get to use!!?"

Holy shit is that a egocentric statement and completely ignorant of how greatness (or even simply sustainability) is achieved.

I'll just take my 7 years of tuition back then, along with everyone who came before that yutz, and he can have his own private Michigan of Jay financed exclusively by his payments to the university. 

 

 

KMJ

September 23rd, 2013 at 6:32 PM ^

If you don't like the prices, ticket policies, or the experience of going to a game, then don't go.  

If enough people stop buying tickets, the prices will go down.  

 

TheGhostofChappuis

September 23rd, 2013 at 6:39 PM ^

Hmmm I wonder why student attendance at basketball games has been lacking in recent years.  Let's say you're a 20-year-old college student right now. Assuming you began to have an awareness of Michigan sports at the age of 4 or 5, here are the Big Ten Records you've seen from the program up until last year.

9-9, 11-5, 5-11, 6-10, 4-12, 5-11, 10-6, 8-8, 4-12, 8-8, 8-8, 5-13, 9-9, 7-11, 9-9 ,13-5.  Oh and let's not forget witnessing the largest scandal in the history of NCAA sports.

People are honestly outraged/surprised that students haven't shown up?  They grew up with horrible teams that embarassed the university on and off the court.  What do you expect?

 

 

jmblue

September 23rd, 2013 at 7:09 PM ^

Crisler was never that bad.  I've gone to games there for a long time.  It used to have dingy concourses and old, dirty seats, yes, but it wasn't a bad place to actually watch a game.  It always had good sightlines and there were never any true nosebleed seats - its capacity was never more than 13,700.  Having grown up watching the Pistons play at the Silverdome and then the Palace (22,000), I always thought Crisler was okay.

 

 

Shop Smart Sho…

September 23rd, 2013 at 7:53 PM ^

"Oh and let's not forget witnessing the largest scandal in the history of NCAA sports."

 

SMU

Memphis w/ Derrick Rose

Charley Pell at Florida

Miami Football loses 31 scholarships in 94

Barry Switzer at Oklahoma

Minnesota Basketball in the mid 90's

O.J. Mayo at USC

Reggie Bush at USC

Ed Martin with Michigan

 

Those first seven are all much worse than the last two.  Want to know why?  Because it directly involved the school/athletic department being complicit in the violations.  So no, Michigan basketball was not at all involved in the "largest scandal in the history of NCAA sports".

Shop Smart Sho…

September 23rd, 2013 at 9:21 PM ^

You can't honestly believe that what Ed Martin and 3 players did compares to SMU getting the death penalty, or even Miami losing 31 scholarships.  There simply is NO comparison between the two.  At this point, you've been shot down on every argument you've made in this thread, and now you are simply arguing to argue.

But I tell you what.  If you can get two people on this blog to agree with you that the Ed Martin thing was worse than SMU or Miami, we'll all start agreeing with you.  If you can't, you have to stop posting for 48 hours and cool off.

Shop Smart Sho…

September 23rd, 2013 at 10:23 PM ^

While it didn't kill interest, that shouldn't matter to the present-day team.  Since Beilein has taken over, it has been completely different.  And as someone who grew up watching the Fab 5 and the subsequent teams, I can tell you that the interest was never killed.  Those post-F5 teams were still really good.  They constantly under-achieved, but they were very talented.  It wasn't until Amaker got to campus that the team bottomed out.  That was a brief enough period that it would have only had the same affect that the late Carr and RR teams did for the football program.

ESNY

September 23rd, 2013 at 8:52 PM ^

Pathetic argument. The question isn't why no one is buying tickets but why 50% of student tickets are unused. If they were raised Michigan fans and grew up with such pathetic teams why would they buy tickets in the first place?

This years seniors, their entire college career have experienced successful basketball teams that were fun to watch. Freshman year, we destroyed Tennessee in the first round of the tourney before losing at the buzzer to duke. Morris returned for their sophomore year and we won a share of the big ten title before losing again in the second round of the tourney. Obv we all remember what happened this year. Excuse me if I don't have much sympathy for no shows.

TheGhostofChappuis

September 23rd, 2013 at 8:58 PM ^

I understand the question, and I answered it. I think many people buy tickets becuase they want to go to the games that are fun regardless of whether they are big fans of basketball or whether the team is good.  To create a culture where people genuinely are interested in the program as a whole, you have to have more than two good years after two decades of bad ones. 

flysociety3

September 23rd, 2013 at 6:42 PM ^

I'm in my first year of a Masters program at UofM, and this sentiment about the athletic department is not just shared amongst drunk undergrads. 

Also, the "whiny entitled student" argument is really starting to piss me off. Of course students feel entitled! Many students devote everything to getting into and paying for this school, and it would be nice to not get raked over the coals by Dave Brandon. 

Additionally, while I am at every game as early as possible, showing up a little late is not that unreasonable considering the circumstances. The Athletic Department frankly doesn't give a shit about the students unless there's an opportunity to make money, so why not spend some time with friends and people that actually care about you? Sure, even for the average fan, some of the classic games they've witnessed at Michigan Stadium will be cemented in their memories forever, but I can guarantee Joe Blow will never forget wandering the streets of Ann Arbor with his best friends. Damn him if he misses 5 minutes against Akron.

Unfortunately, I can just post here and swallow my frustration because I care too much about these teams, and this school really means a lot to me. However, I wish there was even the slightest recognition by the Athletic Department, that despite whatever percentage numbers are thrown around, we still, undoubtedly, have some of the most outstanding student support out of any program in the country.

 

 

Finally--> Crisler's renovation is absolutely stunning, and it was a mindblowing transformation. On the other hand, the student section design is horrible. I really don't see how that can be argued. 

Bb011

September 23rd, 2013 at 6:42 PM ^

Both sides have problems. However, the real problem with what the Athletic deparment is doing is creating a divide among the students and the athletics(You will not find many students who like the new system, I'm not sure I've talked to 1 student yet who does). I'm not saying nothing needed to be done, but what they did for football wasn't good.

 

 

MaizeNBlue

September 23rd, 2013 at 6:51 PM ^

Whoa.

Ok, first:  I am a Michigan student, a 5th year senior who has loved M since I cared enough about any sport to root for anyone.

I am ONLY defending students when it comes to basketball, not football, because in terms of the football whining, I don't think students have a strong argument. I wish we could play better/more interesting opponents, but alas. Wanting to tailgate for 20-40 more minutes and thus causing this uproar does not seem worth it to me, though I can understand how people want to build their memories (after hours of drinking on gameday...) and stuff.

I'm here to defend M's students when it comes to basketball, though. I went to every damn game during our 15-17 season which ended in (more) heartbreak due to Evan Turner in Indianapolis, which I also attended. I have had season tickets every year I've been here, and missed only 3 non-break games. Why some of you are angry with Michigan students' basketball attendance is beyond me. 

During 2009, especially, the student bleachers were the ONLY area of Crisler packed with fans and for no less than 2/3 the games that year, we were the majority of the fans in attendance. So all this criticizing about students "not showing up" for basketball kind of make me angry, because when our basketball team was mediocre, you adult-folk were NOT there, like at all, not at tipoff, not at halftime. We were the ones (the Maize Rage and a small periphery of other interested game-goers) who populated Crisler, and the only ones at that. Complain about attendance if you'd like, but the interest in M bball just was not there and it's hard for me to forget how little actual, physical support (as in showing up) there was by non-student fans.

I would generally approve of the new b-ball policy, except that now you have a large group of students who have shelled out money, significant money (to us), for tickets they are no longer guaranteed. It's a bit of a messy bail-out system that is the product of inherently trying to oversell to increase attendance. I get it. But to bash M's students and argue that somehow our attendance for basketball sucks, please stop. 

To the dude who argued that making the NCAA tournament is better than average...no, it's not. For what should be a power program (albeit just coming off sanctions), making the tournament is average. What isn't average is making the tournament RELATIVE to many years before of not making it.

 

PS - re:  student attendance: it would be nice to read something constructive and not critical on here on the subject for once. We're Michigan, and we're better than this petty arguing between adult fans and student fans. I hope this is a rift that closes quickly and also that the growing rift between alumni and the athletic department closes quickly, because much of the camaraderie that makes being a M fan great seems to be disappearing.

lewan_long

September 23rd, 2013 at 7:44 PM ^

of course, the anti-student crowd totally ignores this comment. 
I graduated after fall of 2011, and alabama A&M was my final game in Crisler Arena. 
I went to all non-conference games up to AL A&M then I graduated and left the state.
I would say the alumni/fan attendance for games like western illlinois or arkansas pine bluff were just as bad. 
For those games, i bet they still count the paid tickets as attendance, but I would guarantee you, the % of students showing up to those games in 2011 (and i bet it's the same from 2008-2010) is higher than the % of non-student who actually showed up. 
And least for that half of the season, I spent most of the time at the very top rows (and they wonder why students aren't interested in going to watch a game against Arkansas Pine Bluff once they couldn't get into the Maize Rage bleachers. ) So the lower bowl for students is constantly filled to capacity. The cameras will only show the student section angle for those games too, with the alumni/fan section empty like football against Akron 2013. 

spigmoni

September 23rd, 2013 at 9:02 PM ^

I was combing through this thread wanting a better articulated piece from the student point of view. (The OP's blog post seemed way too whiny and this is coming from a constituent fan directly affected by the new student policy.[grad school student]  )   

I would like to just concur with you sir.  

WolverineHistorian

September 23rd, 2013 at 6:49 PM ^

In regards to football, I know the athletic department has been a mess lately and I sympathize with the raising of ticket prices.  But some of those points brought up are pure crap. 

1.  In regards to last year's Northwestern game, don't tell me that going to the game on time was going to prevent you from a lifetime of memories and meeting new friends.  Do you not realize how stupid that sounds?  You're on campus 8 months of the year.  You can get memories and new friends the other 234 days you're around each other.   

2.  I know this sounds shocking, but you can also tailgate AFTER the game.  That's what all the alumni do.  Is there some rule against getting wasted at 3:30 p.m.? 

3.  You can recite the crumby non-conference schedules of the last several years all you want.  The opponent is not worth your money.  But 2 years ago, I was at the Minnesota and Purdue games, both of which had half empty student sections.  Maybe those squads weren't ranked in the top ten BUT they were B1G games.  And we were in title contention in our division when those games were played, right up until we got screwed by two horrible calls in Iowa City.  So let's not make it seem like this is a non-conference problem.  It seems if it's not a rival, you're not interested.  And not even a ranked opponent, like Nebraska was in 2011, was good enough for you to get there on time because of the noon start.  That's just sad. 

Dave Brandon has done a ton of things that have pissed me off.  But the students have done the same and many of their arguments, even after the questionable moves by the athletic department, are pretty damn weak. 

MaizeNBlue

September 23rd, 2013 at 6:58 PM ^

WH - while this is slightly off-topic, why did you stop posting game highlights for games this year? It seemed like last year they were up within a few hours of game's end. Have more copyrighting issues arisen? (I believe you mentioned that having been an issue years back when you switched from dynoguy to WH, sorry for creepin', I've just always been a fan of your work)

WolverineHistorian

September 23rd, 2013 at 7:05 PM ^

T3Media went on a blocking spree because of copyrighted material.  They told me I would be O.K. if I shortened highlight videos from my usual 20 minutes to about 8-9 minutes.  I did that, and they STILL blocked the videos. 

The only vids that don't get blocked now seem to be player tributes and fluff pieces like the Keith Jackson piece since they feature clips from multiple games.  

Thanks for the support anyway.  I'm surprised you remember the dynoguy account. 

ezramz

September 23rd, 2013 at 6:50 PM ^

My question is what is the no show percentage for non-student season ticket holders.  When I was a student a couple years ago, for the bad games the student section was the only one filled up with empty seats in droves in all other sections.  I would love to see a perentage for the non-student ticket holder and see if it is any better.  I would love to see the response if this policy was inacted for everyone.

DH16

September 23rd, 2013 at 6:54 PM ^

That for the OSU game, there were a lot of patchy empty seats in the lower bowl across from the student section. Most other big games were pretty full, but there were still noticeable no shows for them.

The rest of the games there were also a lot of empty seats, despite all the sellout claims.

MaizeNBlue

September 23rd, 2013 at 7:00 PM ^

I would give the non-student section areas of Crisler a 25-35% attendance rate for most average games in 2009, and probably only slightly better in 2010. Below average matchups basically meant crickets in the entire top bowl of Crisler and a  smattering of random fans in the lower bowl.

One year, we played Concordia and they took up an entire upper bowl section and made more noise than everyone else in Crisler combined.

rederik

September 23rd, 2013 at 6:59 PM ^

I agree with the author here for two reasons: (1) As the Akron picture of the student section shows: If GA was intended to get students to show up early/on time to non-marquee games, it has failed miserably. [Caveats of small sample size of course apply.]

And (2) I think these sentences really hit home:

"My biggest issue is these two policies were launched with no warning and no input from the student body. No transition period, nothing, just a flat out rule change, take it or leave it. ... I cannot wait to get out of Ann Arbor and not donate to this cash hungry school for a long time. David Brandon and Hunter Lochmann, whether they like it or not, are antagonizing and alienating the student body. With how I feel I have been treated, do they expect me to send my kids here in 20-30 years and buy season tickets for them? This is not how you groom future alumni as beneficiaries, this is how you make money now and lose money in the long term."

I think this hits it dead on. For all the "these students are whiners, "Bo would have said to deal with it," "I showed up on time in the snow with no shoes just to see them practice," and other BS from unsympathetic alumni/posters here, this argument still carries weight regardless of your crotchety perspective. The students ARE the future alumni who are depended on to support the program, and if they feel mistreated, they will not donate. I know I won't donate to this administration, and I graduated years before GA. When the department clearly cares so much about the bottom line and so obviously doesn't care about the students, it slowly bleeds the heart of what makes Michigan special. It's not [supposed to be] a business like the Lions that milks every dollar it can- it's a school you love and cheer for because you're a PART of it. But with the students being treated simply like flyby ticket buyers, instead of an active part of the University and program itself, it kills that. Sure, showing up late looks really bad, and skipping out on games entirely is even worse. But that doesn't justify cutting them out of the conversation completely, because without the students, it's just a sport of unpaid minor leaguers. And that's not Michigan.

Nitpick the author all you like for his errors and unfortunate side complaints (like about the donuts), but he's onto something. This athletic department is in trouble, in the long run, if they don't turn this ship around and start to appreciate the students. Otherwise, we'll not only lose our attendance streak, but we may also lose what makes Michigan so great: the sense of family I and other alumni, who graduated before this corporatization really took hold, feel about this great school. I don't want to see that happen, but I think we're headed down that road.

Anyway, regardless of whether you agree with me, if you made it this far, thanks for hearing my two cents.

goblue7612

September 23rd, 2013 at 7:34 PM ^

Amen. I am also of the mind that I will not donate to this administration, specifically as long as Hunter Lochmann is still part of the athletic department.

I recommend that you donate instead to a non-rival athletic department, and make sure this AD/Victors Club knows about it. When they see dollars that could be going to them, go elsewhere, they'll realize that they're doing something wrong. (Personally I donate to South Carolina for no reason.)

ppToilet

September 23rd, 2013 at 8:28 PM ^

I don't donate to Brandon or Lochmann. I donate to Michigan Athletics and the University of Michigan, the students and student-athletes who go there. Whatever you have taken so personally, was not directed at you personally. You either support your alma mater or not and that is your choice. 

With time, success and reflection you may change your mind and stop asking what the University can do for you but rather what you can do for the University. (And seriously, the Gamecocks?)

goblue7612

September 23rd, 2013 at 8:48 PM ^

I wish I could donate to the student athletes, and support them, but every dollar I donate to them goes to show Dave Brandon and Hunter Lochmann that what they are doing is working. The only way to protest their actions is to not donate. Words do not matter to them, as long as the bottom line is looking good that is all they care about.

And you've hit it dead on, I've taken this very personally. This stems back to when they took hockey students to general admission a year ago. They took away my 8 years of priority seating, and put us all in the same bin. How would season football ticket holders feel if all of a sudden the seats you've had for years were just randomly redistributed (yes I know it's GA and not random)? I was in fact able to get Red on my side, and he asked the ticket office to help me out, but Hunter denied this request. If I was a high level donor, my request would've been fulfilled, but as a student I was ignored. It doesn't matter that I was a handful of students to be in Albany and St Louis, loyalty doesn't matter to them. And thus, loyalty when it comes to the athletic department does not matter to me.

P.S. Red is a great man.

KyleMac

September 23rd, 2013 at 7:03 PM ^

If students want to throw a tantrum about increased cost (still way below normal ticket prices), then continue to reduce the number of student tickets available.  Non-students still show up in droves and on time.  Your job as a student with season football ticket is to go to games and cheer on your school, if you don't want to do that, then don't buy tickets.  That article is, frankly, ridiculous.