Student ticket issues prove problematic during football season


Owen Howland

For over 100 years, Ole Miss has been competing in the Southeast Conference of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

Considering that Ole Miss has #1 tailgating, Rebel fans are always excited for a football game, but when a student doesn’t have tickets, he or she is left to figure out how they will get them on their own.

To help students with this issue, Vaught-Hemingway Stadium added nearly 2,000 seats in the student section. There are 23,000 students at the University of Mississippi, but only 10,000 seats are reserved for students, even with the expansion.

The season starts in September, but tickets are already available for the 2017 season. They sell out fast every year.

Buying season tickets as a whole, rather than buying tickets separately, helps save money, depending on the date they are purchased.

Chris Kelly, a University of Mississippi junior, was unable to get home season tickets this year. He is disappointed because he only has one more year to enjoy the hype of Vaught-Hemingway.

“My first two years, I had the home tickets, and it made fall my favorite season,” he said. “This year, I was later to buy tickets than usual, and they were all sold out.

“Part of the Ole Miss experience is going to the football games. I don’t want to blow all my money on one game when I could’ve gotten home season tickets for a cheap price.”

Freshman year is different than other years when it comes to purchasing home game season tickets.

“As a freshman, we were only able to get student tickets through orientation,” said Zak Podewils, a UM sophomore. “Unless you were one of the first people to buy them in your group, there was a chance you wouldn’t get them.”

Other options for getting into the game are transferring tickets through student IDs.

“Most of the time, I’d ask around for people selling tickets in my classes and dorm,” Podewils said. “It was inconvenient to meet with them according to their schedule. The transfer had to be completed before 5 p.m. on Friday before the game, or the ticket wouldn’t be transferred, and I’d lose money.”

Sometimes, the ticket’s successful transfer isn’t guaranteed.

“I paid $90 for an Arkansas ticket because my cousin was coming to Oxford,” he said. “We got him a ticket from someone selling them in the Grove. When we got to the gate at the Vaught, the card reader showed that I didn’t have a ticket. Tech support tried to help me for 20 minutes. Finally, they found out that the ticket transfer was incomplete.”

If this ever happens, the ticket office near Vaught-Hemingway Stadium is the place to go.

“I had to go the ticket office and explain the situation to them,” Podewils said. “I was told that the only option was to buy another ticket for $60. I was devastated and out of money from buying the original ticket in the first place.

“Luckily, a kind woman eavesdropping felt bad and gave me a free ticket. It was a miracle, and I was speechless. I’d never want to go through what I had to do freshman year ever again.”

This year, thinking ahead, Podewils purchased tickets in June to make sure he’d always have a spot at the Vaught.

“This year, has been a lot less stressful and way more fun,” he said. “But, in general, I think the stadium should have more than enough seats for all students, because we’re already paying a lot of money for tuition. I don’t think students should be in danger of missing out on the most social and memorable experiences that the university has to offer.”

Students trying to purchase tickets for the 2017 football season should look online as soon as possible. The Ole Miss website will direct them to football ticket options.

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