Full house yields unsatisfied fans

At Saturday’s University of Miami vs. Florida State game, the house was rockin’, and no doubt it was rockin’ hard. No home game in the Randy Shannon age has attracted more fans. With 7,800 student seats full, extra security and police, Sun Life Stadium was swamped with thousands of spirited Nole and Cane fans.

Along with the usual gameday atmosphere and chaos, there were a few inconsistencies at Sun Life Stadium. Besides being disappointed about UM’s loss, about 100 students were even more frustrated because they were not admitted to the game.

UM’s athletic department, however, had communicated through student affairs and posted flyers on campus that emphasized that wrist bands would be first come, first serve. Additionally, Dr. Pat Whitely, vice president of student affairs, sent an e-mail to several listservs to announce that the game was sold out.

Knowing that this was the first sellout for a Cane game since 2004, students should have assumed that arriving at the game late would not guarantee you a seat or even admission.

Despite the fact that students should have gone into Sun Life Stadium early, it is understandable how obnoxious it is to not have the right to enter your school’s own football game, especially after dealing with two hours of heavy, irritating traffic on I-95.

More importantly, the price for football games is included in our tuition. In fact, all sporting events are included in our $56 student activity fee. It is not only a right to attend our football games, but also a privilege we have paid for.

For popular and crowded games, UM should set up better policies so fans are not rejected from the stadium. Perhaps sending out a mass e-mail through the UMail listserv that defines “early” and sets a recommended arrival time would get the job done.

In fact, student affairs and the athletic department are aware of this problem and will be looking into it. For future games like this, the division of student affairs is going to work with Student Government and the athletic department on enforcing a ticket-based system. The athletic department is also finding ways to open up the stadium  and communicate with students.

Instead of simply complaining about this, we need to speak up and give our feedback to student affairs and the athletic department to actually resolve this issue.

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.

October 11, 2010


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

2 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Full house yields unsatisfied fans”

  1. Rob says:

    Stop whining. There was already a huge line of cars going into the stadium half an hour BEFORE the parking lot opened (at 3:30). If you want to get in to a game like this you gotta show up early.

  2. matt bontrager says:

    this action by the school is absolute garbage. I was there and denied entrance from the game LESS than 5 minutes after kick-off, not something I would consider “showing up late. Students have ALWAYS been allowed to enter the games until the end of the first quarter, and the only explanation that was offered was that they reached capacity (7800). Now, NOWHERE on the athletics department website, or students affairs website, or in any explanation of the Athletic fee, does it explain that the student section is limited to only 7800 people. In no emails were we ever instructed to enter the stadium early, or that seating in the student section would be limited. While it’s true that it was announced that the game was a sell out, I was under the impression that by paying my (optional as a graduate student) Athletic fee, that I had reserved my space in the game (just as any person who purchases a ticket is reserved a space).

    according to the student account services website, the athletic fee is described as such “The Athletic Fee entitles students to attend assigned home games for football, baseball, basketball and intercollegiate contests. Free transportation is included for events held at the Land Shark Stadium.” Nowhere does it mention a limitation on the number of seats available.

    What the article fails to mention is that what really instigated the closing of student gates was a girl literally passing out in line, requiring paramedics to be called to cart the girl off for medical treatment. I highly doubt that 7800 students were admitted, and that what really happened was the staff simply got tired of dealing with the crowd of inebriated students.

    The lack of foresight on the schools part regarding this manner was staggering. They cannot claim that students were ever instructed to enter the stadium early, or that anyone was ever made aware of a limitation on the number of seats in the student section.

    I would think that the university would stand up for those who have, literally, paid their dues, and not try to deny their responsibility for the situation, claiming that “everyone knew it was a sell-out game.”

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published in print every Tuesday.