As another Thursday comes and goes, we are once again met with student outrage to the opt-in ticket process UA has implemented as a result of Covid-19.

Students are eligible to opt-in to any sporting event the week of the event, and find out the following day whether or not their student ticket request was fulfilled. Unfortunately, the amount of tickets for all sporting events has drastically decreased.

The latest outcry is due to Alabama men’s basketball tickets. Coleman Coliseum can hold up to 15,316 people. This year, there are only 390 student tickets available per game. The breakdown for the available 390 tickets is as follows:

Grad students: 5%
Seniors: 45%
Juniors: 20%
Sophomores/Freshmen: 30%

The problem isn’t necessarily the amount of tickets up for grabs. The question students are proposing is, who are these tickets going to and how are they being selected. This year, the Student Government Association is in charge of dispersing the tickets at random. Unfortunately, there is no loyalty program, such as Tide Pride, that is normally used in order to help those that attend every home game get priority over those that do not attend Alabama sports.

Students that have actively attended games in the past, are being skipped over during this seasons opt-in. Although the team is on fire this year, that has not always been the case. A lot of students that have been Tide hoops fans for years are simply fed up and believe their support over the years hasn’t been rewarded- and rightfully so. Many seniors have expressed their frustrations on Twitter, as well as suggestions to better handle the problems they are experiencing. One user, @h2oliv, suggests increasing the amount of tickets distributed to seniors and decreasing the amount given to underclassmen.

Another user suggests bringing back Tide Pride, but for ALL sporting events including those that are less popular such as women’s basketball and gymnastics. This method would provide a true measure of the student’s loyalty to Alabama athletics. Lastly, my favorite suggestion- every tweet about Alabama basketball equals an entry to a lottery system.

The bottom line is that there is no possible way to please everyone. However, it is obvious that this system to randomly select dedicated (and some not so dedicated) students for opt-in tickets isn’t working. I’m hopeful the outcry will serve as a lesson learned and open discussion for the future if need be.

Feel free to join in on the conversation and follow me on Twitter @mbrianne!

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