SBD/March 12, 2014/Colleges

Michigan Unveils New Student Seating Policy For Football Games Based On Attendance

UM's general admission seating lasted one season, and was unpopular with students
The Univ. of Michigan athletic department has "scrapped its unpopular general admission student seating policy for home football games in favor of a new policy that favors loyalty over arrival time," according to Kellie Woodhouse of the ANN ARBOR NEWS. General admission seating "lasted one season and was derided by students, who disliked showing up to Michigan Stadium early and said the policy made it difficult to sit with friends." Now that seating policy has been "ditched in favor of a new one, one that assigns sections to students based on their attendance of games during the previous season." UM athletics "reconsidered its general admission seating policy after receiving an avalanche of negative feedback from students, including a survey of 7,000 students that revealed 76 percent disliked general admission seating." UM originally changed its seating policy "to entice students to show up earlier to games." UM AD Dave Brandon was "dissatisfied with a half-empty student section during halftime, and thought general admission seating would help fill the stands." Woodhouse notes the price of "student season tickets, like regular season tickets, will not rise this year." The cost for next year's seven-game schedule is $295, "which includes a $15 service charge." The new student seating policy "will be phased in during the 2014 season and take full effect in 2015" (ANN ARBOR NEWS, 3/12). In Detroit, Mark Snyder writes UM is "meeting the students in the middle." All students this season will "return to reserved seating, with 2013 attendance as the top priority, then class level, as was the system in previous years." But the class credit "will only be a one-year consideration." The "highest level of 'Super Fans' are those who attended at least five games 'on time' during the 2013 season" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 3/12).
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