Walking into the gym on a morning when hockey tickets are being given away is becoming a surreal experience. Is this really Quinnipiac, with students waiting several hours just to grab tickets to see one of our sports teams?
You bet. And if you are overwhelmed, don’t think you’re alone. Eric Grgurich, who is in his first year as Director of Athletic Promotions and Ticketing at Quinnipiac, feels the same way.
“I think we originally underestimated how well this would be perceived,” Grgurich admitted.
Jocelyne Hudson-Brown is a 2005 Quinnipiac graduate and now part of the event staff which gives out the tickets when they go on sale.
“Tickets were gone by 9:03 or 9:04,” she said, referring to the men’s hockey game Feb. 9. “It’s unbelievable.”
However, even the success of the team and the enjoyment of the new sports arena are being overshadowed for some by problems with getting student tickets.
“It’s ridiculous that people can take 30 Q-cards and get tickets for an entire floor,” said senior public relations major Geoff Read. “Especially when we have to drive to campus in the first place.”
Besides the dilemma of students bringing multiple Q-cards, there have also been issues with controlling people in line from cutting ahead of others.
Additionally, some students are complaining that once they get to the arena, people are sitting in their seats in the student section.
So how does Quinnipiac plan to address these mounting concerns? The answer lies with Grgurich. He is in his first year in a college environment after serving several years with American Hockey League organizations, and is admittedly a little perplexed about the best way to give out tickets.
“I think we’re going to have to tweak the system as we go along,” he said.
Grgurich has already made moves to tackle the problems that students are having getting tickets.
“I want to do 4 [Q-cards] as a limit,” he said.
Grgurich simply did not think that the demand would be so great at the beginning and did not foresee students using stacks of cards to get tickets. He thinks that four tickets is a good number because it will allow some students to buy their friends tickets if someone cannot wait in line because of class.
Another change Grgurich is looking to make to accommodate students is to possibly switch the location of the ticket giveaway so the line can be more ordered. He said that he has wanted to do it in a corner of Burt Kahn Court with barriers set up to keep people in line. This has not been an option so far, however, due to various athletic teams practicing in the early morning hours.
To solve the problem of people sitting in other people’s seats in the student section, all student tickets will now be general admission. Now students can sit wherever they want in the student section on a first come, first serve basis.
Grgurich stressed that he and his staff have only just begun to figure out the unforeseen dynamics of giving away student tickets, but plan on making continual changes until they feel they’ve got it right.
“This year is a learning experience for the building,” said Grgurich. “And really [January] the 27th when we opened up was our dry run.”
Next weekend, the men’s hockey team will be soon facing two of the top teams in the ECACHL at home on consecutive nights. Grgurich expects tickets for these games to go fast. He is working on a plan to give students a better shot at getting tickets for at least one of those games, which may include giving away tickets for the two games on separate days.