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Policy shift leaves students frustrated over Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament tickets

By Zach Helfand, Daily Sports Writer
Published February 14, 2013

“The Athletic Department did not want to help them out there because they had already bought a ticket.”

Members of the Maize Rage and others who did not buy in advance, and who were not offered free tickets, were left scrambling. With less than 100 tickets initially available, and less after the free tickets were distributed, only the very early responders found student tickets.

One member of the Maize Rage, who wished to remain anonymous, said that once word spread, “It was kind of a rush.”

He added: “I imagine some people didn’t get it if they weren’t fast enough, but that’s, obviously, I guess an advantage to having been at that one meeting.”

Another portion of the student section attended games but rarely checked in with the H.A.I.L. application.

“I guess I just go to the games and my phone’s in my pocket,” said Ari Kurzmann, a LSA senior. “Watching the game I might take a picture or two, but I’m not really trying to check out any apps. … I just wish I would’ve known at the beginning of the season that (a Big Ten Tournament ticket) was on the line because I probably would’ve just gone to those games and checked in.”

Added Hutchinson: “I like the thought to try to get more people down there, but they gave the free tickets to people who had checked into H.A.I.L. every time, not the people who show up early, get the front row, organize the cheers and all that kind of stuff. The people who really show dedication to the school were not rewarded for it.”

Some students, like Sam Gross, the LSA senior who had looked for tickets along with his housemates, still said he would consider attending the tournament, which will be held at the United Center in Chicago.

As of Wednesday night, MGoBlue.com contained a message saying that all tickets to the Big Ten Tournament had sold out, with a link to StubHub.com, an online ticket marketplace. There, a pass for all six sessions for the tournament started at $397, plus fees, for a ticket in the upper corner of the United Center.