Sit Down and Shut up

According to an article by Andy Boyle in the Daily Nebraskan, a chunk of student seats will be moved from the Memorial Stadium sideline to the skyline.

Here’s a snippet:

Fewer students will have front-row seats in the south section of Memorial Stadium starting on the date of Nebraska’s first home game against Western Michigan. In addition, block seating will be eliminated.

Athletic Director Tom Osborne confirmed the changes Tuesday.

Some of the changes include making all student tickets general admission, with priority for upperclassmen to sit in the east stadium. Students wishing to sit in a block will now have to show up early enough to claim their seats before others.

And about 2,000 students in several sections of the front portion of south stadium will be displaced to cheaper seating in the top portion of Memorial Stadium’s southeast corner. Season ticket holders who previously sat there will fill the vacated front seats.

If the athletic department decides to charge ticket holders the same price as nearby front seating, it could bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars more annually than it did with students sitting there.

However, “(the change) was not done for financial reasons,” Osborne said. “We have no idea whether there will be an increase in revenue or not. We’re sure the seats will be sold.”

Osborne said one reason for the change was because students have a tendency to stand on their seats throughout the game, and it wasn’t fair for the season ticket holders who sat behind them.

“We’re doing what we can to be fair,” Osborne said. “But I just have to tell you, people who buy a ticket are entitled to see a game, so it wasn’t happening. That’s why this move has been made.”

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So, students are being moved because some people cannot see? The fee-paying “Greatest Fans in College Football” are now being sent to their rooms for showing support for their football team.

When I attended my first Husker game at Memorial Stadium back in 2000 (I made the trip as a Colorado student) I was shocked at the low number of student seats. Of course, it was different back in Boulder, where nearly the entire south end zone is available for student use. Sure, it was rarely full, but for better or worse students are a big part of the atmosphere. And you could snap up an entire home season ticket package for $35. At Nebraska, it’s nearly five times that amount.

Now, some of the students who are fortunate enough to get into the hallowed grounds of Memorial Stadium will have to sit as high as some of the luxury suites, only without access to the micro fridge and air conditioning.

Have we forgotten why universities exist in the first place? For the students, right?

Something tells me that those season ticket-holders with the student-obstructed views might be contributing a few more pennies to the university coffer. Cash equals clout.

Years ago, students sat at midfield. Then it was the southeast corner at field level. Now a couple thousand are being airlifted. In about ten years, they may just have to watch from an overflow room.

I’ll be honest, after graduating from college I could not stand (pun intended) sitting behind students who wouldn’t plant their keisters during a game. But it seems there’d be a better alternative than to punish the proudest supporters.

Here’s hoping students are at least given a box of Kleenex in case of nosebleeds.

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2 Responses

  1. I can’t believe TO is doing that. These kids (okay, maybe their parents) pay thousands of dollars in tuition each semester, and now thousands of them are being moved up to the nose bleeds? Ridiculous.

  2. This is absurd. Because they stand up and cheer through out the whole game, they need to be moved to somewhere near North Platte so Chester and Marge Bluehair can sit and applaud with the zeal usually reserved for golf audiences.

    Reminds me of a few years ago when I shelled out a ton of money for really good seats at a concert and the rich married couple behind me kept tapping my legs and motioning me to sit down because I was standing up through the whole show.

    I finally explained to the lovely couple that I had paid just as much money as them, and if they simply wanted to “watch” the concert and not be a part of it, they should have stayed home and waited for pay-per-view. Well, I wasn’t quite that diplomatic. If you add in about 10 obscenities, you’ll get the full gist of what I told them.

    Bottom line…Its all about money. And they have to find a way to pay off the contracts of everybody they fired 🙂

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