As an alum in his early thirties, I am young enough to still remember what it was like (and naive) to be a student. With 2 kids and a mortgage, I am old enough to understand that there is a lot in life beyond basketball games, no matter how much we love our team. So I can understand where both sides are coming from, and I can see why they are so angry towards the other sides but it pains me.
I'd think everyone will be happy if the premier seats are filled (either by the orig owner, or his friends, or if no one shows up, then at least some Purdue fans). The root of the problem is that *there is no effective and efficient way for the orig owner to give away the tickets if he can't go*.
Instead of yelling at the other side and blame them, I prefer to focus on finding a solution. It's called the Third Alternative (see Stephen Covey's new book). I have two suggestions. Pls feel free to critique. I welcome countering opinion and passionate debate, and it helps if you point out the fallacy in my proposal. I live in NY and haven't been to Mackey this year, so I may be wrong on a lot of logistics and overlook a ton of details. I know lots of ppl hate me but pls don't crucify me. Frankly, I've had enough of those and am getting rather tired. I truly mean no disrespect to anyone, and I speak with only the intention to contribute to a solution, not bickering.
Proposal #1 (giving seats away at half time): If the premier seats are not filled by half time, have a system to move the fans seating on the upper bowl to the premier seats. This can be done in many ways, from as simple as a random draw, to a more complicated reward system (e.g. a raffle draw among those who have just made a purchase inside Mackey, or a merit-based contest for whoever cheer the loudest). This way, at least we can assure that in the second half the premier seats are filled up.
Similar to late check-in at hotels, a premier seat owner can request late check-in in advance if he plans to come AFTER half time to ensure his seat is still available. I would guess a lot of premier seat owners will be happy to let other Purdue fans have their seat if neither he nor his friends can't come at all. And if a premier seat owner asks for late check-in but ends up a no show, it would be a nice gesture if they might consider making another donation to JPC.
This is a seat-only arrangement. It does not involve parking pass or anything else. The whole purpose is just to put fans in those empty seats when the orig owner or his friends can't make it to the game.
Proposal #2 (ticket exchange market): The Athletic Dept sets up an online exchange site where orig owners can easily post their seats for sale and let others bid for it. If say the seat costs $50 face value, then if the final price is at or less than that amount, the owner gets to keep the whole amount (minus some transaction fee). If the final price exceeds $50, the owner gets $50 and the rest goes to the athletic department as a form of donation. I am thinking it as a seat-only arrangement, but the A.D. may also use the same auction system for parking pass and etc.
Able to retrieve money should give orig owner a strong incentive to post their seats when they know they can't make it (esp. in this economic climate). It also encourages more ppl to buy season tickets on the premier seats now that there is a way to sell the tickets. It also allows the one who REALLY wants the seat a way to get it (esp. if say it is the IU game and many are willing to pay extra). Sure, there will be setup cost to create an auction site, but hey, we are an engineering school and I'm sure there are lots of cheap labor (can even be a class project). Plus, the money exceeding the face value of the seat goes to the athletic dept so they should have an incentive to make it work. I'd be interested to hear how the premium seat holders think about the arrangement, whether it is reasonable, acceptable, and an improvement to the existing system.
So here are my two suggestions. They are not mutually exclusive and can be run together. Feel free to come up with your own or enhance mine if you see some holes in it. Again, I am not here for bickering but a solution. If someone from the Athletic Dept reads this or knows someone in the A.D., I am available as a free consultant :-) I just want to see this work out b/c I hate seeing those empty seats but I also understand there are life outside basketball games. I just want to make a positive contribution.
God, I don't know why you are torturing me. Just when I swear I will refrain from posting you keep giving me these situations where I feel compelled to post. Sigh, I guess I just can't get rid of the addiction...pls help!!!