The seating chart at Allen Fieldhouse will receive a small makeover during the offseason, as more donor seating will be added closer to the floor in the northwest corner of the building.
In recent years, Section U — located just beyond the baseline, at floor level, near the tunnel where the Jayhawks take the floor — has been reserved as a part of the Kansas University student section for men’s basketball games. Beginning with the 2014-15 season, that section will be made available to Williams Education Fund donors instead.
Jim Marchiony, KU's associate athletics director for public affairs, said Thursday that the reconfiguration would not trim the number of seats available to students.
“This is not going to reduce the number of students that can attend games,” Marchiony said. “We have the best student fans in the country, and we will make sure that every one of them that wants to attend will get in.”
What it will do is allow KU to make more money off those choice seats, a move the athletic department deemed necessary in response to the KU student government campaigning to lower the student athletic fee from $25 per student per semester to $6.
That fee, which now will be the lowest athletic fee of any university in Kansas, was charged to every student enrolled at KU, and Marchiony said the new rate would cost the athletic department nearly $350,000 annually.
“During this process, the student government made it clear to us that they wanted us to find other sources of revenue other than the student athletic fee, and that is what we’ve done,” Marchiony said. “We don't expect this change to make up the entire difference, but we think it’ll be a good start toward trying make up the loss of revenue.”
In related news, Marchiony said the season-ticket combo package available to students, which provides each student who elects to purchase it with one ticket to every men's basketball and football home game, also would undergo a small change.
For those students who order the combo package prior to the beginning of the school year, the price will remain $150. Those who wait to purchase the package until after school starts will be charged $175.
KU students are allowed into every other home athletic event free of charge.