The excitement surrounding Deion Sanders and the University of Colorado Buffs’ first home football game on Saturday has led to an unpleasant reality for students: Attending games this fall will require more work, more luck or more money.
Due to increased ticket demand for home football games, students who purchased a student sports pass must also go through a claim process to acquire tickets. A student sports pass costs $185, an increase of $20 from last year, and allows students to claim a ticket to home football and basketball games for the season.
However, every student who has a sports pass is not guaranteed a ticket, and students without a sports pass can’t claim a ticket.
“It definitely sucks,” Junior Morgan Klein said. “I’m so excited for this football season, especially for Coach Prime, but it sucks that its not open to everyone who got a sports pass.”
Klein has a sports pass and began the claim process when it opened Sunday morning, joining the queue for tickets to the game against Nebraska at 9:30 a.m., a half hour before it opened. She waited until 10:45 a.m. when her screen said the tickets had been sold out. When she returned to the portal on Thursday, she said, she was able to claim a ticket because another student had returned theirs.
CU Boulder spokesperson Steve Hurlbert said everyone who was in the queue on Sunday morning to claim a ticket for the Nebraska game was able to get one. He said there were no issues with the website and the queue was empty in about an hour. He said he doesn’t know what happened when Klein tried to claim a ticket the first time.
Students were informed at the time they purchased their sports passes that having one this year does not guarantee a ticket. Hurlbert said students were also sent email communications about the change, and the new rule is highlighted in bold in the student portal.
CU Boulder sold approximately 11,600 student sports passes, which is the same amount that’s been sold in the past few years, Hurlbert said. The student section holds about 11,000 and will hover around that number the entire season.
“We’ve also added more student seating in Section 110 to try and accommodate student demand, but demand for all tickets has been unprecedented,” Hurlbert said. “We’re also obviously limited in that our stadium is 100 years old and seats just over 50,000.”
The student ticket claim process is not completely new at CU Boulder as it’s been utilized to hand out tickets for men’s basketball games for the past three years. Klein, who likes to attend football and basketball games, said the process for claiming a ticket for basketball games is significantly easier. She said she can go in at any time during the claim window to get a basketball ticket, as opposed to having a long queue to get a football ticket right when the window opens.
While Klein was able to purchase a sports pass and claim a ticket, not all students were so lucky. Sophomore Greyson Ittig didn’t get a student sports pass when he tried to purchase one over the summer because they sold out just as fast as the tickets during the claim process.
Ittig said he was “pretty upset” he didn’t get a pass this year, especially because he went to almost all the home football games with his pass last season.
Some of his friends with passes, he said, missed the information on the claim system and don’t have tickets for Saturday. Ittig also said the new process makes sense, but that it’s unfair to sell more passes than tickets available.
For students like Ittig without sports passes, it will be difficult to get a ticket for a home football game this year. The Nebraska, Stanford, USC and Colorado State games have already sold out, and Ittig’s only option could be to buy a resale ticket from a non-student for hundreds of dollars.
“It’s very crazy,” Ittig said. “I’ve been trying to buy a ticket to see if I can go to one of the games this season, not in the student section, and it’s completely unreasonable.”
Ittig said the tickets he’s looked at are going for upwards of $800.
Another new rule surrounding the claim process is if a student claims a ticket but does not scan it at Folsom Field, the student is not allowed to claim a ticket to the next home game. Students have to notify the university 24 hours in advance or sooner to return the ticket if they can’t attend the game. The returned ticket is circulated back into the claim system for another student to pick up.
Due to the new process and the tickets being non-transferable, Klein said, students aren’t trying to resell tickets to other students like they did in the past. Instead, she said she’s seen a lot of students trying to find a way to buy tickets.
She said the new rules and processes to get football tickets makes sense due to high demand, but that it isn’t the best for students.
Because he can’t find affordable tickets, Ittig is planning to watch the most or all of the CU Buffs football games on his computer at home or at a local restaurant.
“It’s definitely a bummer because the football games were really fun to go to even when we weren’t very good,” he said.