Basketball early-entry points system for KU game motivates students to attend other games

(File Photo by Parker Robb | The Collegian)

K-State Athletics incentivizes students to attend men’s basketball games with a promise of shorter lines and coveted, elite seating at the game against University of Kansas.

The current point system, which started in 2011, designates tiers based on previous games attended. Students receive one point per game, so the students who have attended more games and accumulated more points have the option to enter the gates first for the KU game, Austin Anderson, coordinator for fan experience and sales, said.

Before 2011, Anderson said it was a first-come, first-serve system. Students would line up hours in advance and camp out before the big game, taking turns to go to classes. The current system allows students to put academics first.

“It rewards students who go to every game,” Anderson said. “We’ve seen a lot of benefits, students don’t have to miss class and don’t have to wait in line for hours.”

The old system was replaced to accommodate student fans who were displeased with the previous method. Since transitioning, this point-based system has garnered support from students.

“From my understanding, the more games the better tier,” Bret Swanson, freshman in marketing, said. “My opinion is it’s the best they can do to please everyone for arguably the best game of the year.”

Information on the tiered-entry breakdown was sent out to students through an email from K-State men’s basketball, as well as on social media.

Even so, many students were unaware of the point system. Swanson said he learned of the point system through his brother, a senior.

“I didn’t know much about basketball before and didn’t know about the point system,” Emma Eastwick, junior in nutrition and exchange student from England, said. “If I had known I would be more inclined to go.”

While some students approve of this point-based system, there are disadvantages. Students willing to pay an additional $60 for ICAT receive better seating options at all games. Anderson said all ICAT ticket holders have an equal opportunity for seating during the KU game and all General Admission ticket holders have equal opportunity for seating in the designated student section.

“The problem with this (point-based) system is that students can feel ripped off paying the same amount and then not having a seat just because they couldn’t make it to as many games,” Swanson said.

Points breakdown

According to K-State Sports, students will be segmented into four early-entry tiers based on the following point breakdown.

Tier 1: 14 to 12 points

Tier 2: 11 to 9 points

Tier 3: 8 to 6 points

Tier 4: 5 to 0 points