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Friday, June 30, 2017

Kansas Athletics, KU student government reach agreement for seating tweak at Allen Fieldhouse

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) turns to the bench after a deep three to end the half against Nebraska on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) turns to the bench after a deep three to end the half against Nebraska on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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By the time the 2017-18 men’s college basketball season rolls around, more than 400 Kansas fans who have had trouble getting into Allen Fieldhouse to see their Jayhawks will have access to seats.

Thanks to a joint agreement reached this spring between Kansas Athletics and the KU student government, Kansas Athletics will take control of 420 seats in Section 19 (on the north baseline behind the Kansas bench) in exchange for reducing the price of the student combo package of season tickets to home men’s basketball and football games from $179 to $159 per year.

In addition, KU will make available 20 free seats in the 4,000-seat student section to Pell Grant-eligible students who have not been able to afford the combo pack in the past.

While the change was sought by the KU student government in an effort to make the ticket package more affordable, associate athletic director Jim Marchiony told the Journal-World that the arrangement was one with which both sides were happy.

“It is a positive for both of us because, as always, we will accommodate every student that wants to attend a game, now at a reduced price, and, at the same time, will be able to take care of additional donors who want to see the games,” Marchiony said. “An added bonus is being able to take care of 20 students who haven’t been able to afford tickets to men’s basketball games.”

KU student body president, Mady Womack, a senior-to-be who was elected in April, agreed and said she was proud to be a part of bringing positive change to KU.

“When I came in, the talks had already begun and I think it was kind of a mutual thing," Womack told the Journal-World. "The constantly increasing cost of higher education always falls on the backs of the students because we’re the ones who want to make our university better. Students have been willing to make up the difference because we really do value our KU education. But it doesn’t mean we’re thrilled about it. If tuition’s going to go up, we’re always looking for opportunities to bring costs down in other areas of the student experience."

The new arrangement will be effective for the upcoming school year, and Marchiony said Kansas Athletics was happy to help make the cost of attending home men’s basketball and home football games more affordable for the students who play such a large role in giving the Jayhawks an unmatched home-court advantage.

KU students get into all other home athletic events free of charge with a valid student ID.

“We give the student leaders a lot of credit for taking the initiative to help find a way to reduce the cost of attending these events," said Marchiony, who made sure to clarify that the new arrangement would not be taking away seats from students because, in recent years, KU students have not filled their allotment of 4,000 seats.

Kansas Athletics currently is at the outset of selling the new tickets to donors for Section 19 at Allen Fieldhouse, which will help Kansas Athletics recover the revenue lost from reducing the price of the ticket package for students.

"The opportunity to bring the cost down to earlier levels was really important," Womack said. "Because that $20 really does make a difference in students’ lives and, as everyone knows, attending home games is such a key part of our tradition.”

Comments

Drew Doerfler 2 weeks, 5 days ago

so a question....were the 400 seats taken from the student section? general admission? so now 400 big wigs can now go to games while normal students or ga admission people lose the chance at 400 seats? and to save 20 on a season package...guess what, if a student can afford 159, i guarantee they can afford 179. seems like a way to try to put a positive twist on taking away more seats from normal people and students. pretty soon there won't be any student or ga seating left so that they can charge more and more money for the available seats. or maybe i'm reading this wrong?

Joe Ross 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Kansas students HAVE to be smarter than seeing this as a win. A savings of 20 dollars a ticket...but losing 400 seats...is as much as loss as Bucknell or Bradley. And for what? All to fall on a sword about student prices? People do some crazy things for the sake of political platitudes.

KU-1, Students-0 Game Clock 00:00 Box Score: KU: Marchiony-1 TP 400 steals 0 assists

Students: Government-0 TP 20 assists

Post Script- The last sentence of this article makes no sense from the point of view of the student. You LOST 200 seats and you're thrilled even as you declare that attending games is a valuable part of the student experience at KU.

Just..."wow".

Henry Hofmeister 2 weeks, 5 days ago

KU is producing quality downright american government ready graduates. As shown here, the student government is learning to hurt the people but make them think it's cheaper. Profit the business that is the university machine for the sake of those that are priveleged enough to afford seats behind the kansas bench.

Brian Wilson 2 weeks, 5 days ago

OH Boy!!! 20 Bucks!!!! Whoooopteee sheeeeit!

"Because that $20 really does make a difference in students’ lives". LMAO Is Womack related to Pelosi? No wonder this story runs in June.

"as everyone knows, attending home games is such a key part of our tradition.” And now there are 400 less students per game that won't be attending home games and being a part of our tradition! Aren't we happy. NOT!

Matt Tait 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Important to remember that both Marchiony and Womack pointed out that KU students were not filling up the allotment of 4,000 tickets in recent years. Therefore, they're not seeing it as taking seats away because those seats were not being used by students.

Not saying I agree or disagree, just saying what the numbers told and why both sides were comfortable moving forward with this.

At least that's the way I understand it.

Andy Godwin 2 weeks, 5 days ago

The students should come first when it comes to college athletics, but the mighty dollar has continued to push them aside. I had the fortune (many, many years ago) of sitting directly behind the Ted Owens and the home team, 2 rows up during my college days at KU. It was not sold out in those days, but the students (similar to other programs like Duke) had access to some of the best seats (lower level). Maybe the reason that the students are not using "their allotment of tickets" is they have been pushed to the rafters of the field house. What makes Allen Fieldhouse a great atmosphere to what a game, and what the cameras focus on, is the enthusiasm of the students (not as Roy Williams worried, the Phog would come to be known as a "wine and cheese" crowd). Yes, the almighty dollar supports KU athletics and since football has not brought its share of the revenue, Allen Fieldhouse and KU basketball has needed to be a money generator. But lets not forget our students. They are what make us a University year after year. Alumni such as myself are the ones that should take pride in going to our university and continue to help support the educational experience of the next generation of graduates - not push them aside.

Wayne Propst 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Wake up students ...you got $80,000 a year "savings" on yer season tickets.....KU athletics will collect $10,000 "donation" for each ticket plus $1200.00 ticket fee...do math $4.5 million vs $80.000 wow looks like another "win win'

David Robinett 2 weeks, 4 days ago

I suspect that if we made the majority of the floor seats available to students, the alumni and general public would still buy all the tickets for seats in the rafters.

Hence, home-court advantage amplified and no loss of revenue.

Clara Westphal 2 weeks, 4 days ago

The students should all have the lower seats such as the students at Duke. Allen Fieldhouse is known for its great atmosphere. That atmosphere comes from the students and the general admission seats; not from the 'wine and cheese' crowd. When the camera is on the lower seats, the people sitting there are motionless. One wonders why they came to the game other than to be seen.

A long time ago when I was a KU student, students received a booklet of tickets that were for certain games. Those were the games the student could attend.That was in the days of Hoch Auditoruim when seating was really limited.

Ross Hartley 2 weeks, 4 days ago

Dear Clara...about once a year I get to sit with a friend in his floor seats. Everyone around me is yelling @refs & encouraging players constantly. I don't see noninterested fans. The experience that close is awesome & I would be sitting there all the time if I could.

Harlan Hobbs 2 weeks, 4 days ago

Thanks for the clarification Matt. The two sides to the negotiations are happy, but others aren't? That's one reason that compromise is so hard to find anywhere. Don't get me started on that subject which should be left to the editorial section.

That's not to say that I disagree with many of the editorial comments made in response to this article, but let's get some sense of balance here.

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