Editor’s Note: I’d like to thank Lake the Posts for pointing out an error in the original headline of this story. I wrote the story fast and didn’t proofread. To some it’s not a huge deal, but the fact is I should have seen it and known better. – The WRR Management.
I got an e-mail recently from an individual who was rather upset. Thankfully, he wasn’t upset at me, but at NU’s ticket office. It seems this gentleman wanted to buy two season tickets for this upcoming basketball season. He was excited at all the good press for NU and wanted to, “go from attending five games to attending fifteen.” NU actually has 20 home games this year, but you get the point. This guy wanted to become a season ticket holder. In addition, he said that he had hoped to get season tickets somewhere in the lower section of Welsh-Ryan. Apparently, he believed this wouldn’t be a problem given that at the games he attended last season, he saw a ton of empty seats in the lower sections. However, it turned out he was unable to get the seats he desired. He was told that despite the fact those sections are never full, they are sold. This individual did purchase two tickets in the upper level of the purple section, but he said he was disappointed that as somebody who planned to attend every game, he couldn’t get a better seat than somebody who only attends a few.
The fact is I’ve heard versions of this story repeatedly. We all have taken a look around Welsh-Ryan and seen a ton of empty seats in good sections. These seats are in fact sold. I believe in many cases they are sold to corporations that simply don’t use them very often. Now, while I’m not really in favor of pulling the tickets of corporations which have been long time season ticket holders, I’d like to hold them to some standard of support. I believe NU should start monitoring the use of these tickets, especially in the premium lower-level purple seats. Other schools do this by either filming the crowd at games, or by having ushers know who actually owns each seat. If NU finds that certain corporations are using their seats less than 50% of the time, or are giving those seats to opposing fans, I think those corporations seats should be moved to a less desirable location. Maybe NU could create a section for corporate season tickets. It’d be recognizable as the entirely empty lower section when NU plays Central Connecticut State.
As the mail I’ve gotten show, plenty of NU fans and alums exist who would attend every game, support the ‘Cats, and feel thankful to have good seats. Now, I know to some this might be controversial, some readers might even be high ranking members of the corporations whose seats I want to move, but the fact is NU needs NU fans in the good seats every single game. There just aren’t enough NU basketball fans in general. Those who really want to commit to showing up at Welsh-Ryan shouldn’t have to sit above empty seats. The other thing is that as much as I love NU basketball, I can’t possibly think of any corporation that would think tickets to an NU basketball game was a really good way to reward a top employee or a real treat for a client unless that person was an NU fan or NU is using some product they want a client to see. If the people who get the corporate seats are NU fans, they can buy NU tickets on their own at some point, and they shouldn’t mind if fans who attend every NU home game have better seats. If they are viewing some product NU is using they don’t have to view that product from some of the best seats in the arena. I suspect the truth is many of corporations hold on to NU season tickets to give to clients who are fans of other Big Ten schools to which its impossible to get tickets for. For example, Wisconsin fans who make the trek from Madison or who live the Chicago area and can’t get a seat in Madison or worse Illini fans that can’t make it to Champaign. This needs to stop. So I’m asking NU’s Athletic Department, please make good seats available to good fans.