I’m not entirely opposed to the idea that fans have to “claim” their tickets for basketball games next season, but the Athletic Department’s plans to resell unclaimed tickets without providing compensation to students is pure thievery. If the Athletic Department is so confident in the non-student demand for tickets, then give all 4,500 students their guaranteed seats, provide a window two or three weeks prior to basketball games for students to sell their tickets back to the Athletic Department, and then go resell them themselves. Did they think that students enjoy eating the cost of not being able to resell unused tickets?
By offering season ticket refunds, the Athletic Department is tacitly acknowledging that they broke the rules when they materially changed the ticketholder agreement after the time of sale. But refunding my $200 does not put me back where I started six months ago. I paid a $15 “application fee” for season tickets (as, I assume, did everyone else). What exactly did this application fee cover? Dave Brandon’s $800,000 salary?
The Athletic Department also owes me interest on my $200. While this is only a few dollars, had I known about the forthcoming change in policy, I would have chosen to keep my $200 tucked away in my bank account or elsewhere, earning some sort of return, however small. From season-ticket sales, the Athletic Department collected approximately $90,000 in fees and retained interest, not to mention $900,000 in sales revenue. While the Athletic Department can bully individual season-ticket holders into forfeiting $20, the aggregate amount at stake may be enough to justify a class-action lawsuit.
This weekend, I decided that I will simply buy individual game tickets this year, and I requested a refund of my season tickets from the Athletic Department, with interest and application fees. They replied, “We will only be able to offer you the $200 refund. Our policy is that any refund we issue is cost of ticket only.” I asked them to elaborate on the “policy” that was in place at the time I bought my tickets. They replied, in relevant part, “REFUNDS: If you apply for a season ticket and later decide not to enroll for the Fall 2013 term, you may receive a full refund provided you send a written request to the Ticket Office prior to Nov. 1, 2013 … Please consider this matter closed.” I replied by pointing out the obvious fact that the quoted refund policy has nothing to do with the circumstances surrounding my refund request. I’m still waiting on an answer.
Zachary Robock is a Law student.