Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Ticket system altered

October 25, 2000

Students looking to camp out for Izzone tickets this past weekend were instead greeted with a paperboard sign - tacked to a portable toilet - informing them that the campout had been nixed.

“I had no idea what was going on,” said advertising sophomore Melissa Klink, who was turned away. “I expected there to be hundreds of people out there and there was no one.”

Instead, Izzone co-directors Brad Johanson, Adam Raak and Jarrod Folsom, along with Keith Williams, the executive director of the MSU Alumni Association, made a late-night decision to replace the traditional event with a lottery drawing.

Last year more than 350 people waited in line for up to 42 hours for 253 tickets to the Izzone - the largest basketball fan section in the country with 953 students. This year, students had a chance at the 245 seats made available by graduating ticket holders.

With 770 people present at midnight Friday looking for tickets, Folsom told the crowd that the decision to enact a lottery system was one of safety.

“If we had let it go on with just a free for all, it would have been an unsafe situation,” Folsom said. “We have to put people’s safety first.”

And at least one student was injured in Saturday’s ticket rush.

In her attempt to secure a place in line, a 19-year-old Wonders Hall resident ran into a bike rack located in front of the Human Ecology Building, injuring her knee. According to a police report, the student was at the Union on Friday night awaiting the start of the Izzone ticket sale.

Once the sale began, she, along with the rest of the crowd, rushed toward the front of the line. During her haste she ran into a bike rack, fell to the ground and struck her knee.

Though she attempted to get up, she felt the pain was too much, the report said. Subsequently, East Lansing police were called. The student’s situation was assessed and she was taken to Lansing’s Sparrow Hospital for treatment.

“I talked to her (Tuesday) and she said that nothing was broken but there was still pain in her left knee,” MSU police Detective Tony Willis said.

“She also said she was disappointed because she didn’t get a chance to get a ticket.”

The student declined to comment. The injury occurred despite efforts to keep students from lining up prior to Saturday morning. Izzone directors noticed people milling around the Union as early as 4 p.m. Friday.

“People were arriving sporadically throughout the day, starting between 4 and 6 p.m.,” Johanson said, adding that a majority of the students didn’t arrive until 11 p.m.


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