MU Athletics introduces new ticketing distribution

The All-Sports Pass will increase $20 this year

An MU Athletics plan would allow students to buy tickets online and swipe into football and basketball games using their student ID card as a ticket.

Former Missouri Students Association Senator Dan Oshinsky proposed the idea to Ticket Operations Director Marty Finn in an e-mail after attending a University of Kansas athletic event last semester where he saw that process.

Research showed other Big 12 conference schools successfully use similar plans. Brendan Webber, MSA Campus and Community Relations committee chairman, decided to endorse the plan after Finn and Athletic Director Mike Alden expressed interest in a meeting March 19.

“A lot of the things we do are just kind of archaic as far as technology,” Senior Associate Athletics Director Whit Babcock said. “It’s not earth-shattering information because student numbers and online processes are used in other systems on campus. Really, it’s just the need to modernize and do things different.”

The plan would be implemented in two phases, the first in time for the football season in the fall of this year. Current ticket holders could purchase tickets and choose seats online, a convenience not yet available to students.

By fall 2008, students could purchase All-Sports Passes and create block seating online as well, Webber said.

“This program should be pretty easy to implement because they do online seating for ticket holders already,” Webber said.

In addition to online ticketing, All-Sports Pass prices will increase $20 in the fall of next year, the first increase in four years, Babcock said.

“Every now and then you’ve got to increase the prices,” Babcock said. “The revenue process is certainly important, but we’re not trying to get greedy with the students. It’s just every four or five years you bump it up a little bit and then it stays flat for four or five years.”

Phase two, which will be implemented by fall 2009, would eliminate paper tickets, but allow printing tickets as an option for students buying online, and will program all ticketing information onto the magnetic strip of student ID cards, Webber said.

Although convenience is the primary purpose for the new ticketing practices, Webber said it has other advantages.

“What we had in mind was not pure convenience,” MSA senator and CCRC member Tim Noce said. “There are also people that lose their ticket and show up with All-Sports Passes. Convenience was especially a problem for basketball games because you had to go to Mizzou Arena to pick up tickets, and if you didn’t do that you’re out of luck. This (ticket plan) would also boost attendance greatly.”

In talks with MSA, MU Athletics expressed interest in higher basketball attendance from students, Webber said. Babcock said MU Athletics is always trying to boost attendance.

“It (the ticketing plan) is to try to do every little bit we can to make it as easy for students to come to games, because they make the difference in the home-court or home-field advantage,” Babcock said.

Noce said the plan is past its preliminary stages, but still far from its closing stages.

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