Students will use RFID wristbands to get into games
Clemson’s athletic department feels the new student ticket policy, which was released to the student body by email on Thursday morning, will show in attendance come Saturday’s this fall at Death Valley.
Starting on Aug. 1, students will be provided with three options to attend football games. They can purchase a season ticket, still receive a free ticket trough the lottery system or receive a ticket the day of a game.
The Clemson Athletic Department in conjunction with the student government has been working on a new policy since last fall after fallout from the old policy was causing confusion and had some students not showing up for games. There were times last year when the hill on the east side of Clemson Memorial Stadium appeared empty, though the rest of the stadium was sold out. It was a bag look for both the football program and the student body.
It was an issue Clemson’s Board of Directors wanted to get fixed.
“There was never necessarily one thing or two different sides of the ball that we were kind of haggling on, sort of speak. It was more about how do we provide the most opportunities for the tickets to get into the hands of the right students,” said Graham Neff, Clemson’s Deputy Athletic Director.
Getting tickets in the hands of the right students has been the goal throughout the process. Clemson, who opens the 2018 football season on Sept. 1 against Furman, wants to make sure they are getting tickets to those students that want to be there.
“We are going to see on September 1 after going through the process and hopefully we a have good show rate,” Neff said. “It will be an on-going conversation throughout the fall semester. We will continue to meet with the students after each and every game.
“I make it a point to try and be in touch with the student leadership so when that turns over next spring, we will need to make sure the ticketing plan makes sense with the new leadership when they come on.”
Students will now have three options to get a ticket to Clemson home football games.
1. Season Ticket: Up to 3,600 tickets will be available for student purchase in August.
- Free Single-Game Tickets Lottery: 5,100 tickets will be available per game via a student lottery to Students will be notified of their ticket allocation in August
- Day-of-Game Tickets: 1,500 tickets per game (plus any other unclaimed tickets) will be available to students the morning of the game.
“If you kind of go 0-2 on those because you did not get a season ticket because of points or affordability and you did not win the lottery for a game or however many games, now it is still in your hands to show up Saturday morning early and get your ticket and come to the game,” Neff said. “The point being, all three steps or tiers of the ticket kind of put onus on the student to get their ticket for those that really, really want it. We fill it will show itself in the attendance and in the show up rate to the game, sort of speak.”
Season ticket allocation (as well as free single-game ticket lottery) will be held with priority given on seniority (credit hours) and IPTAY Collegiate Club members. Free tickets are available in every section. All tickets on The Hill are free.
“At the end of the day, I know, you know and the board of trustees knows that we cannot make students show up,” Neff said. “Does this help the process? Sure, we think so. But does this guarantee or help us arrive at a better attendance? Not necessarily.”
Neff said one thing they are doing to make sure more students have access to the hill is to make the process easier. Last year, long lines, as students had to check in to the hill area causing it to bottle neck at the entrance, sent many students to other parts of the stadium or back into the parking lot to watch the games.
It also caused confusion on who was and who was not allowed on the hill. Students had to use their Tiger Card to get in and there were difficulties of operations. This year, Clemson is going to go with color RFID wristbands to resolve the issue.
“This is very similar to what a lot of college students use to go to concerts and things like that,” Neff said. “It will be an RFID scan to essentially get into the stadium and since they have a wrist band on access to the hill should be much simpler.
“They will show the wristband and it should be a different color than a bleacher wristband. Hopefully, we will make that flow on and off the hill a lot better so students will go there who have tickets on the hill.”
Neff did confirm the athletic department and the student government is looking into a no-show policy, which will be in an email they are sending out to the students later this month.
“A student who does pick up a wristband, whether that is a free lottery wristband or a Saturday morning wristband, if they have that and they do not show up to the game, we will have that data because of the RFID nature of it and we will implement a policy where they are no longer able to pick up a wristband.”
Neff said it is probably going to be “a one strike and you are out” policy.
“That was not communicated today, but it is coming,” he said. “It is important to get that out there because that is going to be an important piece from a no-show standpoint. From the student leadership standpoint they are very interested in doing that.
“We just want to make sure we are getting the tickets into the hands of the right students. We feel like we have a great product on the field and we have a great experience in the stadium as Clemson fans and students are incredibly passionate. That demand for 10,000 student tickets is there. We just have to make sure we get those 10,000 tickets into the 10,000 students who really want to show up.”
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