By Patrick Stephens
It’s that time of the year again. Grills are smoking and TV’s are blaring out the scores of every game being played under the sun.
The line of students waiting to get in the arena stretches from the gate all the way across Tailgate Terrace to University Avenue. If you are looking for a great, front row seat, you should to have shown up an hour ago.
Students pack in shoulder to shoulder with barely any room to stand, all waiting for kickoff. As the game goes on, however, a curious sensation begins. Room begins to present itself after the first quarter.
Once halftime rolls around, half the stands have opened as students trickle out of the game, on to other things. By the time the third quarter shows up, you almost have your own personal pick of seats in the stadium.
Why is this?
At one point, we as students were always encouraged to “Be there when IT happens.” Anyone who stayed through to the end of this year’s season opener was rewarded by seeing a close win against UAB in overtime.
Students walk in and out as they please, leaving with every turn for the worst and flocking back when things seem like they may be turning around. We enjoy free access to all sporting events, needing only to present our student ID’s to get in.
This is a huge thing that is not offered at many schools.
According to Auburn University’s Athletic Department’s website, student tickets average twenty dollars a game, with away games ranging anywhere from $55 up to $85 per seat.
The same holds true with the University of Alabama, averaging $10 a game and, again, anywhere from $45 to $80 for an away game.
Even with these fees, Auburn and Alabama have their stadiums packed till the ball is snapped on the last play.
So why can we not show our Trojan Pride and stay for a whole game?
The Athletic Department is working to provide students incentives to come to athletic events.
The Trojan Affinity Program provides incentives in the form of hats and t-shirts, autographed memorabilia and even the possibility of free tuition for a semester.
Certain groups are given block assigned seating to accommodate their large number of members.
Even the entry is free.
The student activity fee we pay for every semester covers the cost of the game, which doesn’t require us to pay an additional ten to twenty dollars per game to be able get in. So why do we take advantage of all this, only to leave after fifteen minutes of playtime?
You would not leave a concert early. If you were to walk out of a theatrical showing and asked to get back in, you would likely be refused re-entry. Society recognizes this to be rude.
So why should football games be any different? The players down on the field need our support. We all have a common bond in that we are all Troy Trojans.
We sit next to them in class, eat lunch at Saga at the same times and see them in the library studying like everyone else.
So next time, get your money’s worth out of the activity fee and support your fellow Trojans. They can always use the support, and you may just be there when it happens.