Sometimes you see a new concept and have an immediate “why didn’t somebody think of that before” reaction. Such is the case for me with Michigan’s 2014 student ticketing policy. (h/t mgoblog)
The University of Michigan Athletic Department and the Central Student Government announced Tuesday (March 11) a new and improved student ticketing policy for Wolverine football games. The new policy will feature an attendance-driven reserved seating plan that will assign students reserved season seat locations based on attendance points accumulated during the previous season. Seating will no longer be first-come, first-served general admission.
Here are the goals of the policy:
Objectives of Attendance-Driven Reserved Seating Plan
· Create a home field advantage by having students attend games and arrive 30 minutes prior to the start of the contest
· Enhance students’ game day experience by allowing group seating; groups can be formed with a minimum of two (2) students and a maximum of 100 students.
The way it works is pretty simple. This season is set as a baseline.
For the 2014 season, all student football season ticket holders will have reserved seats. The reserved seat locations will be based on a combination of 2013 attendance and class level. Following is the order of the seat location for the 2014 season:
- SuperFans – Returning students who attended at least five games on time during the 2013 football season (estimated close to 6,000 students; returning seniors/graduate school students among these 6,000 students will be seated in lowest rows)
- Returning Seniors/Graduate School Students
- Returning Juniors
- Returning Sophomores
- Returning Freshmen
- New incoming students (freshmen, transfers and graduate)
Students can form reserved seating groups (maximum of 100 members). In 2014, groups will be seated based on average class level in the group, with the exception of SuperFan groups consisting of all returning students who attended at least five (5) games on time in 2013. These groups will be seated with priority group #1 in the lowest rows.
Going forward is where it gets quite clever.
Starting with the 2015 season, all reserved seat locations will be decided strictly by attendance points. Attendance points are accumulated for each game attended (3 points). Arriving 30 minutes prior to kickoff earn an additional three (3) points, for a total of six (6) points. There will be no class standing-based perks or points starting with the 2015 football season. A group’s standing (and seat location) will be calculated by an average group score from the previous year’s point total.
Students can earn up to 36 points for the 2014 season, the equivalent of showing up to six (6) games at least 30 minutes prior to kickoff. Lochmann stated that the athletic department would only count six games instead of all seven, providing students with the benefit of the doubt for situations like holidays, student break, weather, etc., that can affect their attendance.
All attendance points will be tracked through scanned ticket data. Students will be seated by point totals, with the highest accumulated points at the front (maximum 36 points) and descending back to the top of the student section.
They’ve created a positive feedback loop that will net the most motivated students the best game access. And the loop reboots annually.
There will be no carryover of points from season to season. The prior season’s point total will be used to determine the seat location for the upcoming year.
Yeah, there’s a little more work involved. But given the result, it sure seems like it’s worth it. Anybody down here paying attention?