EDITORIAL: WKU should find better ways to allot NCAA tournament tickets to students

Herald Staff

THE ISSUE: Many students expressed frustration last week when they weren’t able to purchase a ticket to see the WKU men’s basketball team play the University of Kentucky in the second round of the NCAA tournament at the KFC Yum! Center.

OUR STANCE: WKU should find a better way to allot given tickets to students.

WKU students may have had a tough time coming across a ticket to the Toppers’ NCAA Tournament game last Thursday against Kentucky.

Many of the tickets had already been purchased by UK fans, and the rest were going for more than $100 at the cheapest price. The chance of getting a ticket from WKU wasn’t high since they didn’t get many in the first place.

WKU, like the other eight teams playing in the first round of the tournament at that site, was allotted 550 tickets for the NCAA tournament in Louisville. Only 10% of those tickets were given to students — through a random lottery. The rest were given to Hilltoppper Athletic Foundation donors and the basketball team.

The Herald agrees that season ticket holders and donors should be given first priority for postseason tickets, but when it comes to students there are ways WKU should and could improve.

There’s a high likelihood that some of the students who signed up for the lottery hadn’t been to many games this year. This is fine, but the students who attended home games this year should be given priority over the students who decided they suddenly wanted to support their team.

Another reason why the random lottery system doesn’t work is because of UK’s fan base at WKU. By allocating tickets with a lottery system, WKU runs the risk of giving its student tickets to students who might actually want the tickets to cheer for UK.

One way the Herald believes WKU can think of allotting tickets better is to scan the student ID card of each student who attended home games during the regular season. When the NCAA tournament comes around, each student who attended home games can have that many respective entries in the lottery.

This way, all students can still enter the lottery, but the fans who supported the team the most will have an advantage. The Herald also believes this way can work well for the Athletic Department because it would encourage students to attend more home games.

Senior associate Athletic Director Todd Stewart said WKU hopes to accommodate a higher demand in the future, and they should give the reasons listed above consideration.

While there is nothing WKU can do to change the number of tickets they are given, WKU can make it more fair to the students who supported their team during the highs and the lows of the season. Randomly picking a student can be a fair way to give out tickets, but supportive students should have some sort of advantage as well.

This editorial represents the majority opinion of the Herald’s 10-member editorial board.