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Copyright 2013 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
September 27, 2013 Friday
Main Edition
646 words
School studies ways to distribute tickets
Doug Roberson; Staff

Students to vote on demand for 3,500 to 4,000 free seats.

Kennesaw State has a problem that its department of mathematics and statistics can't solve.

Its football team, whose first game should take place 2015, will play in a stadium that seats 8,300. The university has more than 24,000 students.

There may be a lot of students whose fees were increased by $100 per semester to pay for the team, who might not get to attend as many games as they would like.

The university is working to solve the problem by allowing the students to vote on the solution. A group of 20, led by students from various campus organizations, is examining three scenarios for distributing what is expected to be between 3,500 and 4,000 free tickets in the student section at Fifth Third Bank Stadium. The group will meet for the sixth time today.

"If it weren't for students, we wouldn't have football," said Padraic McMeel, associate athletic director for external operations. "It's important to get the voice of the students and what they are thinking."

Today's meeting will focus on dissecting or combining three options, each of which revolve around a lottery system of ticket distribution:

The first is priority-points system in which student would earn points based upon attendance at sports events or membership in organizations, such as the Black and Gold student group, which became an official on-campus organization last year. Its mission is to start traditions around sports. Activity would be traced and collected through the use of student cards.

The second option would be a points system based on class level. A senior would receive more points than would a freshman, for example. The more points that are accumulated would increase the chances of receiving a ticket.

The third option would be a random lottery. In each scenario, the group is considering exempting students who win from being able to participate in the next two lotteries, which would give more students a chance to attend games.

McMeel said he hopes the group can narrow the choices to two by the end of fall semester in December. The university would then begin the process of educating the student body on the two choices through emails, speeches, social media and other channels during the spring semester. McMeel hopes a vote will be taken before early March with decision reached by April 1 so that the university will have time to prepare materials to educate the incoming freshman class.

They hope to keep the student group intact to solve any issues that may arise after tickets are distributed.

The group is also examining ways to satisfy those students who don't win the lottery.

Katherine Street, SGA president, said the group is discussing designating areas near the stadium for student groups such as fraternities, sororities or non-traditional students to gather and tailgate.

They are also considering setting up viewing areas around campus at restaurants or in green areas.

Students who don't win the lottery could report to the stadium and potentially use tickets that were won but not redeemed within 15 minutes of kickoff.

"The question we have to answer is how to help as many students as possible have that game-day experience," said Street, a junior from Woodstock who is majoring in Nursing.

Street said, as SGA president, she hears from those who are excited about football and those who aren't happy that the fees were raised. She said she mostly hears from those who are excited about the addition of the sport and the traditions it will bring.

KSU officials recognize student demand for tickets might fluctuate based on the team's performance but right now they don't expect demand will diminish much, especially in the first year.

Street doesn't yet favor any of the scenarios. She is still gathering information.

"We know we won't have enough tickets for all the students, but we want to find the fairest way to allocate the most tickets to students," McMeel said.

September 27, 2013

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