Friday afternoon student ticket update: The latest
|Friday, April 15, 2016, 2:16 PM- -|
CLEMSON – When the news broke earlier this week that Clemson’s athletic department was considering a plan to charge students for lower deck football tickets, it was met with skepticism, passion, and plenty of opinions on both sides of the fence.
For those who are wondering the latest or are worried about future finances, be patient: Nothing is set in stone, and Athletic Director Dan Radakovich is still meeting with student groups to try and hash out a plan that is amenable to both sides.
Radakovich came forward with a plan a few years ago that would charge all students an activity fee for athletics, and under that plan, the students would still receive football tickets without paying any additional price. That plan was shot down, so a new plan was proposed under which students would be charged a $225 season ticket fee. Those wanting to sit in the upper deck would still get free tickets, but the lower bowl tickets would come with the $225 charge.
Clemson’s athletic finances trail other regional and national schools due to several reasons – a lack of an ACC Network handicaps ACC schools as opposed to SEC schools – and the athletic department ran a $3 million deficit in 2014. Clemson is also one of the few remaining Power Five schools that don’t charge for tickets or charge an athletic fee, further hampering the school’s ability to keep up.
To say that the proposed plan was met with outrage would be an understatement, and Radakovich met with student government again Wednesday to try and find a middle ground. The latest news? Nothing is set in stone, and both sides are still working towards an agreement.
"Wednesday afternoon, athletic department officials (Radakovich and Graham Neff, the Associate Athletic Director for Business Operations and CFO) had an opportunity to sit down with student leaders again and continue an ongoing dialogue - a dialogue that has been ongoing for 24 months - to discuss what the best course of action is moving forward,” Assistant Athletic Director for Communications Joe Galbraith told TigerNet Friday. “Those conversations continue and they are positive. We are listening to the students and have listened throughout the process, and when we have something, we will present it.”
In addition to the lower bowl and upper deck tickets, there has been some discussion about Clemson’s iconic hill – a general admission area packed with students prior to and after the Tigers run down the hill. Some fans are concerned that selling tickets to “The Hill” would not be in anyone’s best interests, and Galbraith says those discussions are ongoing as well.
“That has been a conversation point with the students. Understanding that the hill might be worth more to some or less to some and it's kind of a different area,” he said. “Operationally it's a difficult area to address. How do you hold those students who are supposed to be on the hill off the hill from the time the gates open until the team runs down? From an operational standpoint, that's a hurdle that we have to figure out if we want to do or distinguish between the hill and other sections.”
Another question people have concerns the tickets sold to students in the lower deck – can they resell those to just anyone or do they need an ID when entering the stadium?
“That's an ongoing discussion as well,” Galbraith said. “With the mobile ticketing as well as ID access - using your Tiger Stripe for access- and a closed market in which they can transfer to another student's Tiger stripe or mobile device - or however that is determined - is still one of the discussion points. But that is something that has been discussed.”