Football: UT ticket lottery receives mixed student reactions

Even though the Horned Frogs take on the Baylor Bears in Saturday’s season opener, the buzz around campus has been about the team’s trip to Austin to face the University of Texas Longhorns. But for most students, they’ll have to be satisfied with watching the game outside of the stadium or from the comfort of home. Due to the large demand for tickets and the limited supply of tickets given to TCU, a lottery was organized to determine which students would receive a ticket to the game.

TCU asked Texas for the maximum amount of tickets they could get, and that is exactly what they got. Texas’s allotment was 3,800, the maximum amount of tickets that can be given out to the visiting school according to Big 12 Conference policy.

“There were 3,800 total tickets that we received,” said Sean Conner, director of ticket operations. “We had about 800 tickets for students that we were able to accommodate, but over 2,200 requests from students.”

Conner explained that students are not the only ones whom tickets were reserved for. Faculty, staff, players’ families and donors were also eligible for the tickets.

“It would be great to help each and every one of the students, and we’d love to be able to do that, but due to the limited number of tickets we received from Texas, it’s just not possible,” Conner said.

Conner worked with Chancellor Victor Boschini’s office and Student Affairs to come up with what they felt like was the fairest system possible. With not one person having any advantage over the other, a computer system was used to randomly assign a number to each student. Then, 800 of the 2,233 numbers were chosen.

“The process was totally random,” Conner said. “It was not based on order date, class year or anything.”

If tickets had been issued based on order date of the ticket, they would have been sold out within the first day, Conner said

“Tickets went on sale at 1 p.m. July 15 on the Internet,” Conner said “We had over 800 requests before we could open the doors the next morning.”

Students had from July 15 until August 16 to register for the lottery through GoFrogs.com. By logging onto the Web site, students were obligated to pay $75 plus a processing fee to register for the lottery. Students who received a ticket were notified by e-mail Aug. 22. Students who did not receive a ticket were reimbursed. Conner said the reimbursements could take some time.

Mary Lyddon, a freshman communications major, was one of the 800 students notified of her rights to a ticket. Already sporting her “Beat Texas” T-shirt, Lyddon said she felt fortunate to be able to attend the game.

“I’m really lucky I got a ticket, because I know there’s a lot of people who didn’t get a ticket,” Lyddon said. I made sure to get my ticket the day it was announced.”

Lyddon said the process was fair, adding that she knew quite a few people who received a ticket and quite a few who did not.

One of the many who did not get a ticket is Wes Homeyer, who said the lottery system could have been done another way.

“I think the lottery should have been based on seniority, where seniors had top priority, followed by juniors and so on,” said Homeyer, a junior finance major. “The older students have had to work harder and longer than the underclassmen, so I think this could have been a reward for that.”

Conner’s explanation for not using a seniority system is due to the fact that the lottery took place during the summer – a time when many students may be away from the campus or out of the country. This means that a senior who is out of the country may have a disadvantage to a freshman that has access to the Internet.

Though the majority of students did not receive a ticket, many are still planning to make the trip to Austin. Lyddon knows several people who are making the drive just to visit friends and tailgate. As for Homeyer, he plans on being in Austin, but he still plans on having a ticket.

“Just because I didn’t get a ticket in the lottery doesn’t mean I’m going to give up on going to the game,” Homeyer said. “There are other places where tickets are sold, so I’m willing to spend the extra money and get one.