Athletic Department scraps general admission, announces new football seating policy

Adam Glanzman/Daily
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By Alejandro Zúñiga, Daily Sports Editor
Published March 11, 2014

General admission is no more.

Tuesday afternoon, Central Student Government announced a revamped policy for student seating at home football games. In the new format, students will be rewarded with better seats for their attendance the previous year.

Business senior Michael Proppe, CSG president, and Public Policy junior Bobby Dishell, CSG’s vice president, worked closely with the Athletic Department on the changes. The result, Proppe said, is “the best of both worlds.”

Under the new policy, an individual’s accumulated attendance points this fall will be the sole determinant of his or her seat location in 2015. Students will earn three points for attending a game and can collect three more if they arrive at least 30 minutes before kickoff. That pattern will continue for the foreseeable future, with seat location assigned via the individual’s points from the previous year only.

This fall will be a transition season, in which seats will be assigned in the following order: Students who attended at least five home games on time in 2013 are deemed “SuperFans” and will sit closest to the field in order of seniority, and those who did not will be behind them based solely on seniority.

The attendance points accumulated this season will be tallied automatically when tickets are scanned upon entering Michigan Stadium.

The new reserved ticketing format will also allow students to form seating groups of up to 100 people. This fall, a group will sit closest to the field if they are all SuperFans and will otherwise be placed via seniority; in following years, it will be determined by taking an average of the attendance points of the group members from the prior season.

Football season tickets this fall will cost $280 with a $15 service fee, matching prices from last year. Both seasons feature seven home contests.

“This is certainly a policy that’s consistent with what students said they wanted,” Proppe said.

He added that every student who wants to purchase season tickets this fall will be able to.

CSG and the Athletic Department have been meeting regularly since September 2013 to assess the now scrapped general admission policy. On-time attendance increased in 2013, according to Proppe, but “the effect was negligible” and “did not achieve the Athletic Department’s goals” of having a full student section at kickoff.

A survey conducted by CSG released Oct. 16 revealed that 76 percent of respondents said they were opposed to general admission, with many indicating their displeasure at not being able to form reserved groups to sit with friends. Seventy-seven percent indicated that they preferred the policy in previous years, in which seating was assigned and determined by credit hours.

But Proppe believes the new policy, which will ignore seniority after 2014 and focus on rewarding attendance, will make students happy.

“Students are getting the main things they wanted, and the Athletic Department is getting what they wanted,” he said. “Some of the nightmare of general admission will be over.”