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Some express concern over UI electronic ticket system

BY NICK HASSETT | SEPTEMBER 18, 2012 6:30 AM

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Paper tickets for sports events at the University of Iowa may be a thing of the past if a new electronic student ticketing system proves to be a success, yet many students have concerns regarding reselling tickets.

Starting this November, student tickets for men’s basketball games will be assigned to students’ ID cards, eliminating the original paper tickets.

The university has invested in scanning equipment to handle the new system, in which the only item required to get into a game will be a valid student ID. UI officials hope to carry the system over into the next football season.

Pam Finke, ticket manager at the UI ticket office, believes this change will make going to games more convenient, because students won’t have to pick up tickets or bring them to games.

“We’re just trying to make it easier for kids, so they don’t have to wait in line to pick [tickets] up,” Finke said. “If they have the tickets, we hope they’re more likely to go to the game.”

Each ticket is tied to a student’s ID card, meaning that students would no longer be able to sell a student-section ticket to nonstudents.

A few other universities have implemented similar systems, yet students who have worked with the new ticket implementation said they didn’t feel the system handled re-selling tickets well.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln began its online ticket system this season for football games, and Iowa State University began its system last year.

Jessie Genich, an employee at the Nebraska ticket office, said the new system is more convenient for students.

“You don’t have to take your ticket and ID with you anymore,” he said, noting that student tickets for the ongoing season have sold out. “Now, it’s just your ID.”

However, some students at Nebraska don’t like the new system.

Sophomore Josh Kelly said the system is hard to get used to.

“The process to get tickets is a lot tougher,” he said. “You can’t buy tickets from students 24 hours before a game now, when before you could just buy them from another student the day of.”

Iowa State junior Dylan Montz has mixed feelings about ISU’s electronic ticket system, which is also used with student ID cards.

“Part of me likes having the physical ticket, for memorabilia from big games, but it’s just easy and convenient with the new system,” he said.

ISU allows students to print out the tickets to sell to other students, and in those circumstances, an ID wouldn’t be required to get into the games.

The UI system would function largely the same as the Nebraska and ISU systems; however, students would not be able to sell their tickets to nonstudents, only other students with a website officials say are still in the planning stages. University officials believe this policy will help protect students’ ability to get into the student section at games.

“The student section is for students,” Finke said. “They’re the ones that should be using [student tickets], since some students that want to go see games aren’t able to.”

Yet some students at the UI like the new system.

“It sounds like a good idea,” UI junior Beth McGinn said. “It’s easy to lose or forget paper tickets, and it’s more convenient.”

But UI students have concerns about the new system as well.

UI senior Ryan Logan thinks the system overall would be more convenient, but selling tickets would be harder.

“Scalping tickets is a lot cheaper [than buying them],” he said. “If it’s only online that could be difficult.”

While the university expects tickets to sell out in the new system, Finke says the seats would be open to the general public if they aren’t sold out.

“I’ve been here a long time, and usually we’re sold out,” she said. “But if there are still seats available, we’d open up the process like we have in the past.”


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