Letters to the EditorOpinion

Ticket frustration merits answers

The ASUO has received your e-mails and phone calls. We’ve heard from the students who talk to us in class or come visit our office in the EMU. We have seen that there are more than 1,000 students on Facebook who have joined a group opposed to the current system.

We know that you are frustrated with the football ticket distribution system — and we understand why.

Students certainly deserve to know the background of the current ticketing system. The first thing to know is that your student tickets to football and basketball games are purchased from the athletic department by the ASUO using money raised from your student fees. We spend more than a million dollars each year buying tickets from the athletic department, who offer us the tickets at a steep discount relative to normal ticket prices. Unfortunately, the ASUO doesn’t have enough money to buy a ticket for every student to every game, so the tickets must be allocated through a distribution system.

For many years, athletics tickets were distributed out of the EMU and Autzen Stadium ticket offices to students who stood in line for countless hours every Monday to secure their spot at the games. This tradition ensured that die-hard fans secured tickets for every home game, but also created a dilemma: in order to attend Saturday’s football games, students often had to miss some of Monday’s classes. In order to make sure that the academic mission of the University was prioritized, alternative systems were researched.

The system that was chosen was online ticket distribution. While there have certainly been challenges with the new system, it undeniably has benefits: students no longer have to stand in line in the rain for hours or miss classes to get tickets, paper tickets have been eliminated, the athletic department can ensure that tickets are distributed fairly across each class standing and students who consistently attend games are rewarded with better access to highly desired tickets.

But we understand that all of these benefits don’t mean much to you when you’re staring at a computer screen telling you that you won’t get to attend the USC game. Many students have asked us why the ASUO can’t fix the online system or why we can’t return to in-person distribution. These are good questions, and students deserve answers.

The first thing to know is that the ASUO does not own or control the online distribution system – the athletic department pays for this service and ultimately has control over it. We have told the athletic department that students are having problems with the current system, but we’ve been told that changes during the season are nearly impossible because of cost and contract issues.

As mentioned before, nobody wants an in-person distribution system that would require students to miss classes in order to get a ticket. Proposals for weekend ticket distribution have been advanced, but we have been told that the cost of paying ticket office employees to work on weekends would greatly increase the cost of student tickets.

None of this means that we shouldn’t be working toward a better distribution system. The ASUO will continue to work for a system that is efficient, reliable, convenient and rewards the famously die-hard Duck fans that give Oregon its notorious home-field advantage.

We have heard all of your concerns and we know that this issue is extremely important to students. Please know that the ASUO is fully committed to improving the ticket distribution system — we are your student government, and we understand that we exist to address your concerns.

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