Stadium expansion increases student ticket availability

Posted on Sep 9 2016 - 8:01am by Austin Hille

Each fall marks the beginning of a new struggle for students across campus to scramble for student season football tickets.

Everybody wants tickets, but so many seem to miss their opportunity to purchase them. The class Facebook groups are often filled with buyers and sellers desperate to get their hands on a pair for just one game.

The expansion of the student section of the Vaught-Hemingway Stadium made more tickets available, but some students say there still is not enough and the prices are too steep.

Desperate students will go to desperate measures to get into games. This, typically, has taken the form of swapping IDs with a ticket holder for a game or two, a practice which goes against university policy. 

In 2015, Ole Miss students were given the chance to transfer game tickets to other students under strict rules. Both of the students have to be current Ole Miss students with valid IDs and only one ticket can be transferred to one ID. This makes it impossible for a student to buy multiple tickets and get other people into the game with his ID alone.

Additionally, all ticket transfers must be complete by at 5 p.m. on Friday before each home game.

“It is against the university’s conduct code to be in possession of another student’s ID,” Campbell said. “IDs are checked and may be taken by security which will then be turned into the Office of Student Conduct.” 

“We believe that students are an integral part of football game days, and that is why we felt we needed to expand the student section by 2,225 tickets,” Associate Athletics Director Kyle Campbell said.

The added seats raised student capacity from 8,100 to 10,325. All seats installed during the renovations were given to students, Campbell said.

Ole Miss currently has the fifth-highest percentage of students who buy football tickets in the SEC, according to Campbell.

Student seating represents 17.1 percent of Vaught-Hemingway stadium, which is the fourth-highest rank in the SEC. More than half of the student population has student tickets available, according to the athletics department. 

Of course, how many tickets are available is not the only factor when students purchase packages.  Some students also claim the price is too high.

“I feel that the student tickets should be less than they are. We, as students, contribute too much to the university for us to have to pay to enjoy extracurricular activities at those prices,” senior English major Samiah Patton said. “When I entered the university in 2011, student tickets were $55. Such a big increase forces me to question my priority here.”

However, the athletics department feels they approach the price point for tickets very rationally, using a common sense mix of factors to determine just the right price for each season, according to Campbell. 

“Prices are determined by formulating a revenue projections for athletics and comparing them to the market value of other SEC schools,” Campbell said.

Although there has been a significant increase in price over the years, some students find the pricing to be rational.

“I feel that the current prices for student tickets are quite reasonable,” freshman journalism major Brody Meyers said. “It’s a fairly decent deal for all of the home games.”