New hockey ticket policy to be implemented
A new policy set by the UNH Athletics Department and Ticketing Office requires the physical presence of students with their student ID to receive a ticket for UNH hockey games; one person, one ID, one ticket.
This policy takes effect this season beginning on Monday as the men's hockey team faces off with Acadia on Saturday, Oct. 5.
The old policy allowed a student to bring up to four student ID cards with him or her, and students could receive a ticket for each card. Now, if a student hopes to attend the game, he or she will either have to wait in line or have a friend wait in line in their place. The ID does not need to be the holder's ID, but they can only receive a ticket for one ID.
When teams such as Maine and other Hockey East rivals roll into Durham, tickets are in highest demand. Students line up inside the Whittemore Center hours before the box office opens at 7 a.m. on the Monday before the game. Hardly anyone is waiting with the intent of buying just one ticket.
The intention behind the new policy is to ensure that those who wait in line receive a ticket.
"As long as we have tickets available, students have access," Nicole Richard, assistant athletic director for ticketing, said.
Richard noted that she has had to turn patient students away after the tickets sold out.
Dot Sheehan, Senior Associate Athletic Director for External Relations, said that, on average, 350 student tickets given out are not redeemed at each game.
Box-office hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The early opening on Monday is only intended for students picking up their tickets.
This is the first of potential changes to come with student ticketing for UNH sports. Discussions have been ongoing about a change in policy with football tickets, which have been rising in demand over the last few years.
For admittance into a UNH football game, students only need to show their student ID at the gate. This system, as Richard described, is not current with other universities and is in need of an upgrade.
On Sept. 14, when UNH took on Colgate, Richard and her team tested a system where student IDs were scanned for validation. The test was successful, but the Athletic Department and ticketing office said no system has been settled on for implementation. Other potential options are mobile ticketing or a system similar to what is used for ice hockey.
As of now, the policy for students' admittance to UNH football games will remain as presenting IDs at the gate.
But across the street, a new policy has been established.
Prior to the 2011-12 hockey season, regular hours were the only time students could get tickets. The office received complaints from students saying they could not be there at 10 a.m. because of morning classes. A decision was made to change the policy and open the doors at 7 a.m. so everyone had an equal chance to get tickets.
Now, the policy is being changed once again to ensure that same equal opportunity.
"We don't ever want to turn a student away," Richard said. "It's just not right."
Nick Stoico can be reached on Twitter @NickStoico.
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