In an email sent to Stanford students last night, the Athletics Department announced that student Red Zone seating for 2011 season football games will require a ticket. Fortunately, the seats remain free, but students will have to go online between Tuesday at 5:00 pm and Friday at 11:59 pm of the week of the game they would like to attend to claim their tickets. The “tickets” are really only such in name, as they will automatically be loaded onto SUID cards and, following the loading process, students will continue to gain entrance by having the SUID scanned at the Stanford Stadium gate.
Here’s the full scoop from the email:
Throughout the upcoming 2011 Football season, all students will need to claim a ticket online for each game in advance in order to guarantee admission to the game. This process will better enable Stanford Athletics to manage student ticket demand and Red Zone capacity, while maintaining free admission for students. This process begins with the football home opener against San Jose State on Saturday, September 3.
Click here, or on the video below, to watch an instructional video on how to claim your free student football ticket.
Tickets will be distributed electronically on a first-come first-served basis for the home games against San Jose State (9/3), UCLA (10/1), Colorado (10/8), Washington (10/22) and Notre Dame (11/26). Tickets for the games against Oregon (11/12) and Cal (11/19) will be distributed on a priority basis based on Red Zone Loyalty Points – as explained in the next section.
Tickets will be claimed online, starting at 5:00 p.m. on the Tuesday prior to a home football game, and automatically loaded on to your SUID – which will be scanned for admittance to Stanford Stadium at The Red Zone gate (gate 3) on game-day. Tickets must be claimed by 11:59 p.m. on Friday of the same week.
For more information on Football student tickets, including step-by-step directions, click here.
Worth noting, too, that Oregon is now a loyalty point game, and Notre Dame is not. In 2009, when the Ducks and Irish both visited the Farm, Cal and Notre Dame were loyalty point games. Considering that Oregon/Stanford will likely be one of the year’s top games in all of college football and that the Notre Dame game occurs on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, the change is a smart move by the ticketing folks.
What remains unknown is whether the ticketing system is a move toward actual, paid tickets in future years. Given the success of the team since 2009 and the popularity of the program among the undergraduate body, Stanford could be tempted to boost revenue and control crowds by eventually charging students for admission, a strategy it implemented with the 6th Man Club several years ago. That decision, coupled with the drastically declining performance of the men’s basketball program, virtually eliminated student excitement about men’s basketball. The 6th Man Club was made free again for the 2010-11 season.