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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

University of Louisville Ticket Policies Are a Problem -- Tuesday CARDINAL COUPLE

EDITOR'S NOTE:


( While Paulie pedals to Greensboro today, Worldwide steps up to the keyboards and brings you today's CARDINAL COUPLE entry. These are important words, read them carefully.) 


Before We Get Started...


I have written numerous times on this site, and stated many times on the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour, that the University of Louisville Athletic Department does an absolutely fantastic job of supporting its women's sports programs...perhaps the best of any school in the country.  I stand by those statements, they remain true.

But There's a Problem...


Any organization, when it stakes a major part of its identity to a particular goal, needs to constantly evaluate its policies, procedures, and even internal culture, to ensure that they are actually furthering the organization towards its goal.  Such an organization must remain vigilant to the existence of policies, even long-standing policies, that work counter to that goal.  To not be vigilant in examining policies, procedures, and culture that are counter to the stated goals risks an organization becoming blind to those and other obstacles in working towards those goals.

The UofL Athletic Department and Tom Jurich have stated publicly many times that they have a goal to treat their women's sports programs equally to the men's.  By and large, they do, but there's a (now) glaring gap in this goal.

Paulie posted a Cardinal Couple Special Report on Friday about UofL offering likely 1st and 2nd round Women's NCAA tickets to Men's Basketball season ticket holders starting Friday, and that Women's Basketball Season ticket holders would not get the option to order until yesterday (Monday).

First, Some Clarification...


Men's Basketball Premium season ticket holders, which, as I understand it, are seats in sections 105, 106, 107, 115, 116, and 117 (the 6 sideline sections in the lower bowl) have right of first refusal for all events at the KFC Yum! Center (not just UofL events). This the reason that they were offered tickets prior to Women's Basketball season ticket holders.  Not all Men's Basketball season ticket holders were offered early access to tickets, just the ones with Premium seats in those six sections.

And Yet, This is Still a Problem...


In announcing the availability of pre-sales of tickets to Women's Basketball season ticket holder, UofL clearly took some great pains to clarify the above, apparently with the thinking that this obviates any problem.

They couldn't be more wrong.

Just on the face of it, some Men's Basketball season ticket holders are given this "Premium" status, while equivalent Women's Basketball season ticket holders are not.

Beyond that, the result is that some Men's Basketball Season Ticket holders, some of whom may never have been to a single UofL Women's Basketball game (or perhaps to any Women's or Girls Basketball game at any level and any school), received priority in pre-ordering tickets for this event, and will, as a result, have better seats than nearly all of the faithful Women's Basketball season ticket holders who have cheered and supported this team throughout the whole season.

(It should be noted that on the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour on Saturday, I speculated that tickets would be allocated in CAF priority points order...I was wrong.  When you pre-order your tickets, you get to pick your seats.)  Of course, some of those Men's Basketball Premium season ticket holders are also Women's Basketball season ticket holders, and that is wonderful, but it doesn't eliminate the problem that some, perhaps many, are not.

This policy has been in place for all of the roughly six years that the KFC Yum! Center has been in operation, and by and large, it hasn't presented a problem until now.  And because the UofL Athletic Department did not remain vigilant in their examination of policies that might be counter to their stated goal of treating their Women's Sports programs equally to the Men's, I fear they have become blind to the obstacle that this presents to furthering that goal.

One can forgive Tom Jurich and others in the Athletic Department for not recognizing the threat to their stated goal of equality presented by this policy, but it has been spotlighted at this point.  To continue to leave this policy in place, as it currently exists, makes a mockery of their goal.

Tom Jurich has been great for the University of Louisville Athletic department over the years, but this situation is untenable and the Athletic Department and Tom Jurich need to take a long, hard look at this situation and see what an injustice it is

-- to the loyal Women's Basketball fans who have supported this team to the point of being the 3rd largest average attendance in the nation again this year.

-- to the team and the Women's Basketball program who may very well lose some of the loyal fans over this and will likely result in UofL fans in prime seats that will be surprised to see that the Women's game uses quarters instead of halves!

Tom Jurich, you need to fix this, and I mean really fix it, not just try to explain it away.  This policy is a problem, even if you refuse to see it.  It is disrespectful to the Women's Basketball fans and the Women's Basketball program itself.  It is not a communication problem, it is not a public relations problem, it is a ticketing policy problem and it needs to be really fixed.

Women's Basketball fans, I would encourage you to continue to voice your displeasure about this situation.  The ticket office phone number is (502)852-5151.  The webpage for the UofL Athletic Department directory is http://www.gocards.com/staff.aspx  You might look through that list and consider who else should hear about this. Jeff Walz has encouraged fans to e-mail him since he has been here. His e-mail is: jeff@gocards.com  Please be respectful, of course.


__________________________________________________


Just a reminder that CARDINAL COUPLE is offering its annual ACC Tournament Pick 'Em contest. 14 games, 14 choices. The most correct choices win the $25 Panera or Cracker Barrel gift card. It's free to enter! Leave your picks in the comments section or e-mail them to us...

cardinalcouple@twc.com

Paulie got this entry from a Clemson fan and it shows the Cards a lot of love...

FIRST ROUND: Pitt, Clemson, Virginia Tech
SECOND ROUND: Miami, Virginia, Clemson, NC State
QUARTERS: Florida State, Notre Dame, Louisville, NC State
SEMI-FINALS: Louisville, Notre Dame
CHAMPIONSHIP: Louisville



Got a different take? Get in the game! 


JMcA
--

12 comments:

  1. Well stated Jeff. Although it was interesting to get the whole story, I agree there are issues. I'm wondering how all the people of the area who have bought tickets to concerts, etc. at the Yum! feel about being second class ticket buyers. Who scores the prime concert seats? - the people who buy and pay for in different ways (men's basketball ticket holder buys women's tickets to volleyball or basketball to get priority points but never attend an event). Non sports fan who want great seats at a concert should also be offended.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The unfair glitch in the ticket policy is not about gender. It is about money, a prominent theme in policies at the University. That being said, it still dscriminatea against the lovers and followers of women's sport at the School. This policy needs to change.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Unfortunately UL can change all he policies they want but until they have a women's basketball marketing department capable of performing the job of marketing nothing worthwhile is going to change regardless of the policy which exist.

    I called these folks at 12:35 yesterday. They could not tell me anything except to blame it on the CJ by saying that the paper published the wrong information. Of course, they could not tell me when to expect a e-mail with information - not even what day to expect it although the e-mail arrived 30 minutes later.

    This kind of marketing personel mis-steps is a repeated pattern over the course of many years where they spend more time covering why something was not done than they do just doing it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unfortunately, Marketing is probably the wrong department within Athletics to deal with that query. You probably needed to be talking to the ticketing and sales department.

      However, the folks in Marketing probably really should've referred you to them rather than trying to answer the question themselves.

      Delete
    2. I called the telephone number shown on the CAF
      site.

      Delete
  4. My ACC WBB picks

    Round One- Wake Forest, North Carolina, Virginia Tech
    Round Two- Miami, Virginia, Wake Forest, N.C. State
    Round Three Florida St., Notre Dame, Louisville, Syracuse
    Round Four Notre Dame, Louisville
    Championship LOUISVILLE. GO CARDS

    ReplyDelete
  5. While it is the men's basketball and football teams that generate the lion's share of the profits for the university, it is unfortunate that such a loyal fan base for the women's basketball team is discriminated against.

    Whose fault do you think it is that the lower arena is never full for women's basketball games? It's the men's basketball and football season ticket holders fault. They purchase season tickets to women's basketball just to bolster their priority points and standing with the CAF. Instead of using the tickets or donating them to someone who would use them, they go unused and therefore their priority seats are empty come game time.

    I suggested long ago and many times since then that you should receive your priority points only once your tickets are used. Didn't happen.

    The university needs to review this faulty system and repair it for the women's teams and their fan bases.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. While the way that the CAF priority points system works is also a problem, (I agree with all you say, here), it is actually a *different* problem than what I talk about in the article.

      I considered combining them into one big super-rant, but thought, because they are different policies that affect attendance in different ways, they should probably be treated separately.

      Again, you're definitely not wrong, and this is another issue that really needs to be addressed (the issue is even worse for Volleyball, where season tickets are worth 2 priority points vs 1 for WBB).

      Also, you can attended every contest in a season for 17 of the 23 sports at UofL and never accumulate a single CAF priority point, so the stated goal of trying to encourage people to support all sports falls a bit flat on that.

      Delete
    2. Worldwide is spot on with this. I will go further and recommend that if you use your women's basketball tickets throughout the year...you should receive first choice for any women's post season events.

      About 3000 tickets for the first and second round have been sold so far.

      Arrived safely in Greensboro. About a 7 1/2 hour drive. Short rest and then off to dinner with relatives. Absolutely beautiful down here. Blue skies and 70 degrees

      Paulie

      Delete
    3. 2 years ago I spoke with marketing and suggested that instead of only providing a means for ticket holders to shift their tickets to specific folks or to proactively offer their tickets that instead that they review purchased season tickets which showed a pattern of not being used and that marketing contact those folks to ask them to through UL put their seats up for donation to groups...charities...

      Marketing indicated that they just could not do that. But no reason why except that they just cold not.

      I also asked if it would be possible to put me in contact with the person in seats next to mine ( who never show) could not ( would not) do that either. ( privacy is not the issue - they could have contacted the ticket holder for me and asked if OK for me to make contact)

      Creative bunch we have which allows thesee great seats to remain empty and unavailable.

      Delete
  6. ACC All-Conference team is Myisha, Mariya, Madison Cable, Lindsay Allen, Brianna Turner, Azura Stevens, Shakayla Thomas, Aaliyah Whiteside, Adrienne Motley and Alexis Peterson.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Low point of the season, we were 3-5 just after Kentucky loss and down by 14 at the half at home to IUPUI. Or maybe low point was when we were 1-4 after Dayton.
    24-6!

    ReplyDelete

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