Thursday, March 15, 2007

Nothing Funky with Tickets to NCAA

A lot has been made of the NCAA First Round coming to Omaha in 2008 and the availability of the tickets for the event at Qwest Center Omaha. My show and email have been buzzing, Channel 6 did a story using the audio from my show, and message boards have been blasting back and forth on whether or not Creighton acted fairly in their selling of tickets to the event. Before I give my opinion again, let’s first state the FACTS.

-The NCAA allows the host institution – Creighton University – the right to offer tickets to their season ticket holders before the general public was allowed to buy tickets.
-The NCAA set a deadline of March 1 for Creighton’s season ticket holder pre-buy for the event. They took 4,000 tickets for the schools attending and allowed the rest to be sold as CU wanted.
-According to TJ Isascs, Ticket Manager for CU, Creighton allowed ticket holders to buy the same number of NCAA tickets as they bought season tickets for 2007. They had a deadline of Feb 15th to do so and were sent a postcard to remind them of the deadline.
-After Feb 15th, CU still had time before the NCAA issued deadline and had tickets remaining to the event. They then sent out another postcard to inform their ticket holders of the availability of those tickets. This time, they allowed their ticket holders to buy as many tickets as they wanted which sold out the Qwest Center.
-ALL tickets holders for CU had this option. Season tickets for the Jays start at around $125 bucks per ticket for 18 games. NCAA tickets were $168 per ticket for 6 games.
-There was nothing wrong with what CU did and completely within the rules of the NCAA.

Now that we’ve got the facts – let’s ask Tulane if they would like to have the same situation as Creighton has right now, 1 YEAR before they host. Tulane still has tickets available 2 days before their regional pod games. The Qwest Center sits 17,000 – The New Orleans Arena sits 18,000. This is not wrong, unfair, discriminatory, or disrespectful – this is life. People who spend money with Creighton could have decided not to buy – but they chose to purchase tickets. It’s amazing that one year prior to the event, the people of OMAHA, who are primarily Bluejay fans, stepped up to support the Regional.

If you aren’t a Creighton fan, well, sorry – maybe you should be if you want the chance to go to the NCAA basketball events at the Jays home arena. And NO – it was not CU’s job to tell the public that buying season tickets would let you get NCAA tickets. You would then run the risk of empty seats all year at the Qwest for home games.

Look people, I wanted front row for Billy Joel but didn’t get them. I paid as much as the guy who is in the front row but I got the seats that I got because of when I was allowed to buy the tickets. I bet a lot of you who wanted to go couldn’t go. That’s life folks.

It’s ridiculous to start talking about tax payer money that went into the Qwest Center. a Without CU running the event and asking for the event to be held with the help of the Missouri Valley Conference – the event wouldn’t have ever come to Omaha. If Nebraska fans want the same option, have NU offer up the Devaney Center and let’s see what the NCAA thinks about it. My guess is that they wouldn’t want to go near it. Every host school gets the same option as Creighton got this year. There was nothing out of the ordinary except the fact that it sold out very quickly. The Qwest Center is the home of the Bluejays and their fans when it comes to basketball….it’s about time everyone gets that message. And with the Qwest being their home arena – they get perks.

Yet, they weren’t the only one’s who could buy tickets. Qwest Center suite holders also could buy and if you were a special client to the Qwest – you also could buy tickets. This is what the NCAA tournament has become – the No. 2 sporting event in the country behind the Super Bowl. Tickets sell out as fast as the Super Bowl and corporations buy a large bulk when they can.

The little guy is NOT getting screwed here. You who is? Husker fans. And that’s why so many people are bitching about this. Husker fans believe they are entitled to whatever they want because that is the way it has been in this state for years. Memorial Stadium sells out every game with passionate fans who love their football. Well, Omaha is filled with passionate Bluejay fans who love their basketball. I applaud the fact that they stepped up and showed what Omaha does when the NCAA comes to town.

Do NOT complain about the double deadline. Would people still be complaining if they sold out before March 1 without the Feb 15th deadline? Yes, of course they would be because they are shut out regardless. Since when does a business care about what is fair or not? They want to sell tickets – and don’t really care who buys the tickets as long as they move. I don’t see Nebraska worrying about who is getting access to their tickets and even if you do get a chance to buy tickets – you have to be a donor. You didn’t have to be a donor to CU to get tickets – simply a season ticket holder. A person could have bought upper bowl season tickets without any donation to CU.

This is amazing thing for Creighton and Omaha to be proud of. If you don’t think so – just ask Tulane.


AJ said...

Matt, you're wrong for 2 reasons:

1) In journalism school, they teach you about a term called "bias". I think you do an excellent job, and I listen a lot, but I think it's difficult to take your opinion for anything because who sponsors your show and who you cover. Just how it is.

2) You weren't here when it was built. You weren't here during the election where we voted on it. You weren't here when they mentioned the NCAA tourney 935,385 times an hour. All day, every day, 24/7...that's all we heard about.

At the time, Creighton drew about 4,000 per game and had fewer season ticket holders than I had toes. So needless to say..people didn't expect this.

I know your job. I know your role. And I know what your argument is...I just think you aren't qualified to argue it because of who you are and what you do.


PS - Rasmussen shouldn't have said ANYTHING, because it was borderline insulting for him saying that they were basically PROTECTING Omaha consumers by not allowing them to lose 70+ bucks a ticket. He shouldn't have said a word other than, "Sorry, this is how we did it."

Now everybody sees them as even more greedy and arrogant than they already did.

Enjoy the show, enjoy your work...but you're dead wrong.

Have a safe trip back.

aaron said...

matt is a joke, bottom line.

Anonymous said...

And an unfunny one at that.

Bugaha said...

Matt, you are so full of sh*t. I love this statement:

"If you aren’t a Creighton fan, well, sorry – maybe you should be"

Well, I'm a Husker football fan and you said I couldn't be a Creighton fan too. Not that I want to be though. And for the record, it's not because I'm a Husker fan that I'm pissed, it's because I'M A F*CKING TAXPAYER IN THE CITY OF OMAHA AND I HELP PAY FOR THAT F*CKING ARENA. You and your show both suck and I can't wait until you're gone.