Students wait hours for tickets to Big 12 Championship game

(Photo courtesy of Ellie Brennemen)

After the Wildcat win against Kansas, students lined up outside Bramlage Coliseum on Sunday to purchase tickets for the upcoming Big 12 Championship game. Kansas State will play TCU at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington this Saturday.

The process for students purchasing tickets to the Big 12 game differed from the regular season, Joni Smoller, senior associate athletics director for external relations, said. 

“What students did to purchase official student tickets for the Big 12 Championship through K-State was to purchase them in-person at Bramlage Coliseum at the ticket office,” Smoller said. “We opened it for ICAT at noon, and then starting at 2 o’clock, we let the general admission form in after the ICAT line.”

Justin Hodge, sophomore in milling science, said having ICAT gave him an advantage in the process for getting tickets.

“ICAT is only 40 extra dollars,” Hodge said. “It gives you special passes and things like a t-shirt, free football jersey and maybe a basketball jersey. For the championship game specifically, there was a separate ICAT entrance where you got in line first for tickets before anyone else.”

Hodge said even with ICAT, he stood in line for hours in order to buy a ticket.

“I went around 11 a.m., and the line wasn’t too long then,” Hodge said. “They started selling tickets at noon, and I got my ticket a little bit after one, so it was about two hours in line.”

Hodge said he found a few issues with the ticketing process.

“Most of it was outside. They didn’t put too many people inside, which I thought they could’ve,” Hodge said. “It was cold, but everybody dressed up for it.”

Smoller said even though some students were cutting in line, everything worked out for those in line.

“Every student that came to Bramlage that was in line got a ticket for $50,” Smoller said. “We didn’t turn away any students. There were a certain amount of lower-level seats, but once we ran out of those we secured an additional 650 tickets in the upper deck, in the fourth level, that were the same $50 rate.”

Brett Eakin, associate athletics director of fan experience, said it’s impossible to distribute tickets without any issues. 

“It went slower than we want for anything, but that goes for any ticket line,” Eakin said. “You could ask any of our fans on any gameday, and we’d much rather the line goes faster, but I think we were pretty efficient and got through everything we thought we would.”

Hodge said he sees the advantages of in-person ticketing as opposed to distributing tickets online.

“It gives the more dedicated fans a chance to get tickets,” Hodge said. “With online ticketing, if it’s really low supply and high demand like these tickets were, I’m sure within minutes they would’ve sold out, so I’m glad we got tickets in person.”

Smoller said the demand for Big 12 tickets was much higher than last year’s Bowl Game against Stanford due to a decrease in student ticket prices. 

“Last year, [tickets] were priced at over $100 a piece, and we thought that’s not right for students,” Smoller said. “We lowered the price, and we covered the cost difference and sold them at a lower price to students. We had about 650 buy student tickets and make the trip to Houston. We anticipated that it would be more than that this year — I don’t know if we anticipated it would be up to 2,000.”

Smoller said she is satisfied with how the ticketing process went.

“The students were really positive, polite, thankful and excited,” Smoller said. “To have some of the football staff show up with the Governor’s Cup, and to see the student body showing support for the football program — that was really positive.”