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Column: Solving Clemson’s football ticketing issues

Katie Tressler, Staff

Clemson students rally together to support the Tigers at last Saturday’s game against Boston College. Students make up approximately 10,500 seats in Death Valley.

Did you know that Clemson is the only Division I school in the country that provides football tickets to students free of charge? Yes, you read that correctly. The process of getting student football tickets is a priority system based on class. If you are a member of the IPTAY Collegiate Club, you have the opportunity to get first dibs at student football tickets by paying a $40 annual fee or $130 fee for all four years.
Tickets are distributed online where each student is placed into a queue and given a random spot in a virtual line. When it is their turn, they can place their order for tickets based on availability in the lower deck, upper deck or the hill. After IPTAY Collegiate Club member tickets are distributed, graduate students are next, followed by seniors, juniors, sophomores and freshman at their designated times.
This process has not made all Clemson students happy, however. A lot of students have complained about not being able to get tickets, even those students in the IPTAY Collegiate Club. A student even started a petition to try and get the process of getting student football tickets changed. The petition received over 10,000 signatures and was sent to President Jim Clements, Athletic Director Dan Radakovich and the University Board of Trustees.
Clemson has an allotment of approximately 10,500 student tickets available, 3,000 of those are reserved for IPTAY Collegiate Club Members. That’s 13 percent of the stadium reserved for students. Here’s the problem for students: Clemson is continuing to grow. The 2017-18 academic year brought in more than 3,650 freshmen, 1,500 transfer students and 1,450 graduate students.
With the recent success of Clemson football, the demand for student football tickets cannot meet expectations. Unfortunately for Clemson students, there’s just not enough student football tickets for every student and that’s why student tickets are not guaranteed and are first come, first serve.
The only way this issue can be fixed is to start charging students a yearly fee for football tickets. The pricing will be contingent upon where you would like to sit. It would happen before the season starts, similar to how IPTAY does it for season tickets for donors because a lot of students tend to forget to go online to order their tickets.
Clemson students live for Saturdays in the Valley and the success of football more than likely played a role in their decision to attend Clemson University. The process can’t make everyone happy, but together with a new method, all students can be ensured to have an opportunity to experience Saturdays in the Fall.

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