Students should take full advantage of the Big Ticket

Henry Corwin

Many students who purchase the Big Ticket have just one sport in mind: football. But the Big Ticket gets you in to all UT home games for the entire school year with one $175 ticket. If you already own the Big Ticket, you should take advantage of all the events you can — you’ve already paid for them.  

There are many sporting events students might forget are covered by the Big Ticket.

Attendance at UT home basketball and volleyball games does not even come close to matching the percent capacity attendance of football games. Football games for the 2018-2019 season had an attendance average of 92,712, upward of 90 percent capacity.

At other Longhorns home events, though, the story is much different. According to NCAA attendance records, the average attendance for men’s basketball games for the 2017-18 season was 10,601, which is just at 63 percent capacity. 

Students can observe a similar scene at home games for the UT women’s volleyball team — a team that has won the Big 12 conference in seven of the last eight years and made it to the NCAA championship three times over that span. According to the NCAA’s most recent attendance records, the average attendance for the 2016-2017 season was 2,434, which is just below 61 percent capacity.

Many other schools across the nation, even in close proximity to UT, do not have a deal like the Big Ticket — yet more students at these universities attend home games that aren’t football. 

For example, according to Oklahoma University’s sports website, students who want to go to football games have to purchase a season ticket for just football for $210. OU also offers a separate $65 season ticket for basketball.

For Oklahoma men’s basketball games during the 2017-2018 season, Oklahoma’s stadium reached nearly 90 percent capacity on average. While UT brought in roughly the same number of fans, the capacity of our stadium is about 5,000 higher than Oklahoma’s. UT also has approximately 20,000 more students than OU.

Drew Martin, UT’s executive senior associate athletics director for external affairs, said UT’s athletic department offers access to all home games under the Big Ticket to make it easier for students to attend a variety of events.

“By going this route as opposed to individual sports tickets, students have the ability to experience and enjoy other athletics events with their friends while still always having access to seats for their favorite sports,” Martin said. 

Cameron Lowe , architectural engineering freshman, said he uses the Big Ticket to attend several sports in addition to football, such as volleyball, basketball, baseball and soccer. He said he noticed the attendance levels of students to scale are consistently lower at volleyball matches than at football games. 

“All the other sports are good, so it’s entertaining to go,” Lowe said. “I wouldn’t understand getting (the Big Ticket) just to go to football.”

Lowe also said the student section can be fun at less publicized sports, such as volleyball because of the quality of seats students have access to at smaller venues.

“Students get front row … right by the court,” Lowe said. “It’s actually more enjoyable, too, because when you’re more involved, you’re actually paying attention (and) it’s more entertaining.”

Students should not waste their time at sporting events they do not enjoy, but students who have purchased the Big Ticket and like to watch multiple sports should remember how much access they have. Moreover, don’t be afraid go watch a new sport and support your classmates to enhance your overall UT experience.

Corwin is a journalism sophomore from Long Island, NY.