Admission for GW men’s basketball games will be on a first-come, first-serve basis, a University official told The Hatchet yesterday.
The University will not offer early admission to the Smith Center for any student organization, and students will not be required to pick up tickets, Director of Athletics Jack Kvancz said yesterday.
“Everybody is going to have to line up,” Kvancz said. “It’s going to be a first-come, first-serve deal, and it seems to be the most fair proposition.”
For the last three years, the Colonial Army has enjoyed a 15-minute early entrance policy into the Smith Center with a $15 membership fee. Students who did not join the Colonial Army typically did not obtain the best seats because Army members would occupy much of the 5,000-seat arena’s lower section.
The University had been considering issuing tickets this season to prepare students for an eventual transition to a season ticket-style system. Officials are planning to replace bleachers with arena-style seating, at which point they plan to sell season tickets.
University administrators decided that students will be required to get their GWorld cards validated to ensure the student is actively enrolled as a student at GW. Helen Saulny Cannaday, the assistant vice president for Student and Academic Support Services, said she saw alumni and faculty take advantage of student admission with GWorlds last season.
The University is also planning a “low-cost, celebratory event” in place of Colonials Invasion to mark the beginning of the basketball season, Kvancz said.
“The event will be designed with student input and planned in conjunction with the Department of Athletics, Student Activities Center and the spirit programs to ensure that the student community is introduced to the players,” according to a news release obtained by The Hatchet.
Frank Dale, the president of the Colonial Army, said he is pleased with the athletic department’s decision. In recent days, Dale said he met with the Program Board, Department of Athletics and Student Association. He said he feels confident that his organization will receive funding.
“I think it’s a good move for students because it levels the playing field and it will reward the students who get there earliest,” Dale said. “Our concern as an organization is to find funding so we can unite everyone.”
Efforts will be made to find new ways to keep the Colonial Army relevant without its early admission privileges, according to a news release.
“We listened to students and forcing them to stand in line for bleachers was not fair,” Kvancz said. “I think we struck a fair proposal here.”
In a news release, Kvancz and SASS announced that the decision was made through talks with student leaders and the Colonial Army.
The University plans to announce a time within the next few weeks where students will be able to present their GWorlds at TicketMaster for validation. The staff will validate the card and a sticker will be affixed to confirm students’ status.
The first men’s home basketball game will be a preseason contest against Augusta State Nov. 1.