Editor’s Column: How To Better The Ticket Situation At Starr Rink

We were more confused than the jersey-less Cornell players during warmups. The ticket situation for Saturday’s Colgate-Cornell hockey game was an unnecessary fiasco to say the least. One way to discourage dedicated Colgate fans is to send out an email outlining a specific ticket procedure, and then change the procedure without notifying students. After reading that tickets would be handed out at 5:30 p.m. on a first-come, first-serve basis, lines began forming as early as 1:30 p.m. outside Reid Athletic Center. When the weather did not cooperate, the administration responded well by ushering students inside early. But what happened to the game plan emailed to students? All it would have taken was someone standing near the lobby entrance explaining the situation and handing out tickets – and not red tickets that people didn’t know what to do with.

Why not just give legitimate tickets to those students who showed up first and waited in the rain instead? The process of having an event staff member physically call out numbers, barely audible over loud complaints and frequent profanities, was beyond inane and could have been avoided. What was the logic behind this process, if any? Students with very high ticket numbers – or even no tickets at all – were somehow allowed in while others who had been waiting for hours were left on the outside looking in. And the fact that, upon admission, students were not allowed to leave the rink until after the first period – if they were admitted at all – made for many hungry, thirsty and upset students.

It hurt to watch students get turned away, especially devoted senior fans who would have done anything to get that stamp on their hands. In order to ensure that seniors get a chance to see the game, members of the senior class should have preference in getting tickets to their last home Cornell game. While eager underclassmen should be able to get in as well, all interested seniors should have received the chance to jeer the Big Red one last time.

The ticket process could be improved in a few easy ways. Most importantly, hand out tickets a day before the game so that students will have time in between waiting in line and cheering for three hours straight. This will ensure a livelier, better-quenched fan base, which will clearly result in more creative cheers and a more enthusiastic crowd.

The school should also open up more space for all students. Some fans tried to sit in areas with seats clearly open and available, only to be asked to move because the section was “reserved.” Reserved for whom? If we want a true home ice advantage, severely limit tickets given to opposing fans and admit as many students as possible. While Colgate fans fought for seats in the bleacher section, the Cornell cheering section (why is there one at Starr Rink, anyways?) at the far end of the rink rehearsed chants and flaunted posters. It’s Colgate’s rink – let’s keep it that way.

It’s sad that, during one of the few Colgate sporting events that students actually get excited for, students get turned away or leave out of frustration with the ticketing policy. If Colgate wants a truly top-notch athletic program, then it needs to allow its students to get into the important games and create a raucous atmosphere at Starr Rink and other athletic venues. The students deserve it and the athletes deserve it. Next year, hopefully the process will be cleared up and the students can leave the rink talking about something more upbeat – like a win.