Archive for Thursday, October 21, 2004

Hoops tickets almost in the mail

Seat swapping leads to delay

October 21, 2004


In years past, Kansas University men's basketball season tickets were in the mail by the second or third week of October.

Not this year.

"Tickets will be sent via Federal Express on Oct. 29. That's next Friday," said KU associate athletic director Jim Marchiony.

The delay, he said, is not expected to interfere with fans getting their tickets in time for the Nov. 7 home opener against Emporia State.

Earlier this year, KU switched to a point-based ticket distribution system that tied seat location to a ticket holder's contributions to the athletic department's Williams Fund.

Under the new system, ticket holders with the most points will be assigned midcourt seats near the floor. Those with the most points get the best seats.

But ticket holders have the option of moving to seats of lesser value. Sorting through these moves, Marchiony said, has caused the delay.

"It creates a domino effect," he said. "When one person moves, that creates another move for another person and so on. It's been an exhaustive process."

Many ticket holders, for example, who qualified for bench seats close to the floor have opted for chair-back seats farther from the floor, Marchiony said.

"We knew that was a possibility," he said.

Also, Marchiony said, the department is double-checking ticket holders' point totals.

"We want to minimize our errors as much as possible," he said. "We want to do this right the first time."

Accompanying the tickets, Marchiony said, will be a chart, estimating how many points will be needed for seats in the first, second and third tiers at Allen Fieldhouse next season.

"The chart we sent out earlier this year was based on last year's point totals; the new chart will be based on this year's totals," he said. "They are higher. For some sections, those closest to the floor, they'll be double."

Marchiony said the department raised $7 million with its offer to double points for contributions made in May and June.

"In a normal year, contributions to the Williams Fund totaled about $5 million," he said. "So with the double points' one-time $7 million, that put us at $12 million" for the 2003-04 season.

Contributions tied to the 2004-05 season are expected top $7 million.

"By any standard, this is a great success," Marchiony said, "and we are thankful to all the donors for making it happen."

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