University of Iowa Student Season Tickets to Go Electronic
By Vanessa Miller, Reporter
IOWA CITY, Iowa - This Hawkeye football season could be the last one for which the University of Iowa produces and distributes student season tickets in paper form.
Starting with Hawkeye basketball this winter and -- barring any major gaffes -- continuing into subsequent football and basketball seasons, all season tickets for the student sections will be distributed electronically onto student identification cards.
Game day ticket-takers will use new handheld scanners to check the electronic student tickets that will be stored on ID cards
The change will save the UI in printing costs and hours spent coordinating distribution. It’s green in its reduction of paper use, and it’s meant to simplify the process for students, who now will only have to remember their IDs to get into the games.
Students without season tickets still will be able to buy single game passes for the student section if they’re available. Those tickets can be printed off or picked up at the window on game day and presented at the gate with a student ID.
And students with season tickets still will be able to give away or sell passes to another UI student by going online and transferring the electronic tickets to the recipient’s student ID.
UI student season ticket holders will not be able to transfer their passes to non-students – even recent graduates who still have their student IDs, said Pam Finke, UI ticket manager.
“Students may only transfer their tickets to other current UI students,” Finke said.
Some recent graduates have tried to use or succeeded in using their old IDs to get into the games with paper tickets for the student section. But, Finke said, making season tickets for the student sections electronic should help curb that type of abuse.
“We are concerned with protecting the student area for current students,” Finke said. “There have been times when student section tickets are sold out, which makes it more important than ever to make sure that it is current students who are using student tickets.
“Scanning will help us with this endeavor.”
The UI is launching its electronic system for student season tickets for the upcoming basketball season, scheduled to begin in November.
“We want to make sure everything goes right, and we get all the kinks out,” Finke said.
There still are season tickets available in the Carver Hawkeye Arena student section, which holds 3,792 people. About 2,000 students have season tickets to watch the 2012-2013 basketball squad.
The Kinnick Stadium student section, which has a capacity of 10,590 students, is sold out through season ticket holders this year, Finke said.
UI freshman Katie Rakers, 18, is one such season ticket holder who said she’s looking forward to eliminating the paper versions.
“I didn’t know what to do with all the tickets when I first got them because there were so many,” Rakers said, adding that she’s concerned her tickets will be lost or stolen. “I think it will be very convenient.”
UI senior Clare Bata, 22, said she doesn’t agree and doesn’t like the way the UI is trying to control how students use their tickets. For example, Bata said, she’s planning to bring her two older brothers – both UI alumni – to the Hawkeye game today using student section tickets.
The trio is hoping they can slip by without showing an ID.
“We wouldn’t be able to go and sit with her if the new system was implemented,” her brother Matt Bata, 25, said.
“It’s horrible,” Bata’s other brother, Joe Bata, 29, said. “I would protest.”
Not only do the Batas fault the proposed electronic ticketing system for the restrictions it places on non-students wanting to sit in the student section, but they say it eliminates keepsakes for season ticket holders.
“What about people who want to save their tickets?” Clare Bata said. “I have some of my old tickets saved.”
She said the new electronic system could reduce attendance, especially at games that are not already sold out. But UI officials said they are concerned that the new student season ticket system will hurt attendance.
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