AUBURN, Ala. (EETV) - The Auburn football student section was packed for the Auburn vs. Mississippi State game on Saturday, Sept. 30, leaving students to be directed by stadium employees to the upper deck of the stadium.
“I found it really annoying, especially since we paid for a student section ticket and had wristbands for block seating,” said Auburn junior, Maddie Boggs, when she and her friends were denied admission into the student section. Maddie and her friends arrived only minutes after the beginning of the first quarter. This put some organizations at risk of losing their block seating, because students with wristbands were not being let in to fill their block.
While entering the stadium, students were still able to swipe their Ignited cards, as to not gain points that would prevent them from getting tickets the following season. However, once they passed the swiping stations, stadium personnel handed each student a ticket that would provide them access to the upper deck of the stadium.
Jack Carlin, a freshman at Auburn, had an especially frustrating experience. Carlin made it into the student section, but his friend arrived a few minutes after him because she had to get something from her residence hall. When she arrived, she called him to tell him that she wasn’t being let into the student section of the game. “I walked over to the rails where students were being filed up the ramp to the student overflow because I was trying to help her,” said Carlin, “I talked to one of the officers that was there asking if I could get her in. Instead of telling me no or saying that she’d have to wait, the officer grabbed me and forced me out of the student section and into the student overflow.” Carlin said he was not allowed back into the student section for about 30 minutes after being sent into overflow.
According to Auburn’s Associate Athletics Director for Strategic Communications, Cassie Arner, the student section actually had less Ignited cards swiped than the section’s capacity. “Student section holds 14,500 … Scans were around 14,200,” Arner said, “There was a period of time when students were ushered upstairs, but they were allowed to move back and forth once the game started.”
After sitting in on the President’s cabinet meeting, Auburn junior, Peter Taliaferro, said that the reason why people were being sent to the upper deck was because there were students blocking emergency exits. The policemen sent students to the upper deck in order to prevent fire hazard.
The ticketing office recently announced that they will plan to use the same system during the Auburn vs. Ole Miss game on Saturday, Oct. 7. “If the student section seating in the lower bowl of the stadium (sections 17-28) reaches capacity, we will begin directing all students that arrive to the stadium to the seats located in the East Upper Deck,” said the Auburn ticketing office in their email to students. However, this time, students will have the choice to go to the upper deck at the beginning of the game.
“If students pay for the student section, then they are expecting to sit in that area,” said Haley McDonnell, an Auburn junior who was told she would not be allowed into the student section, despite her knowledge that her friends were saving her a seat, “The personnel there didn’t have a great explanation as to why this game was so oversold, which made the situation even more frustrating.”
Students believe that if they follow the rules set forth by the SGA ticketing policy, they should not be having any problems with their tickets. Students are frustrated that too many tickets were sold, and are hoping that this does not occur again.