Saturday, August 8, 2020

Lottery allots scarce tickets for students

March 27, 2001

Got tickets to the Final Four?

How ’bout the Frozen Four?

A message to MSU students who were able to secure tickets to college basketball’s and hockey’s prized NCAA tournaments: Consider yourselves lucky.

The MSU Athletics Department, as it has become accustomed to doing in recent years, held a lottery for basketball tickets. The problem? Only 644 tickets were made available to student season ticket-holders.

So of the nearly 900 students who entered Jenison Field House on Monday hoping to find a ticket listed in their name, at least 200 left disappointed.

“The lottery is garbage,” said accounting senior Bill Crandall, a four-year season ticket-holder for both hockey and basketball. He wasn’t successful in the lottery. “The university needs to develop a better policy.”

Truth is, though, that more tickets were made available to students this year than last. During last year’s Final Four, only 500 tickets were allotted to students - one-seventh of those available for MSU.

This year, the university received 4,500 tickets for games at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, which seats 42,000.

Nearly 24,000 tickets were sold out to the general public months ago, while the rest were divided among the four universities remaining in the tournament - MSU, Duke, Arizona and Maryland.

Like last year, the MSU tickets not being made available to students are being divided up among families of players and coaches, university administrators and university donors.

Students who were fortunate enough to have their names drawn had until 6 p.m. Monday to report to Jenison Field House to pay for their “golden” ticket.

Tickets not claimed could be offered to the 228 students who missed out on the first lottery selection.

“If we have a significant number of no-shows we would go back to the lottery pool,” said John Lewandowski, assistant athletics director for media relations, who added he would be shocked if lottery winners didn’t claim their tickets.

Still, Crandall feels the lottery is the wrong way to handle tickets - he insists students should be given a higher priority.

But despite coming up empty-handed in the basketball lottery, Crandall said depending on affordability, he’ll either make the trip to the Final Four or the Frozen Four anyway.

However, tickets are even more scarce for the hockey finals.

Spartan hockey faithful looking forward to seeing MSU win its first NCAA National Championship in 15 years have been dealt a dose of disappointment.

On March 1, the Pepsi Arena in Albany, N.Y., home of the 2001 hockey finals, mailed out the last of its available tickets - weeks before MSU fans realized their team would be competing in upstate New York.

For an arena that holds up to 17,000, only 500 tickets were allotted to each of the four participating universities - Boston College, Michigan, North Dakota and MSU. Most of MSU’s tickets went to university administrators, donors and the team itself.

So, for those looking to snatch tickets, perhaps there are only a few alternatives remaining.

Ticket packages for the Frozen Four are going for more than $200 on www.eBay.com. Meanwhile, Final Four tickets on the same Web site are selling for much, much more.

And it might be that cash that convinces some students to stay home - and profit by selling their tickets - allowing desperate peers to pay big bucks to watch the game.

“It would be great to go to the game, but it would be great to have $800 in my bank account,” said general management freshman Amy Laycox, who has been offered $825 for her ticket.

“I can watch it at home.”

State News staff writer Ryan Weltzer contributed to this report.

Tim Mosley can be reached at mosleyti@msu.edu.

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