The Utah State University Student Association is considering giving the athletics department hundreds of student tickets for the Nov. 28 football game against Brigham Young University.
At an executive council meeting on Tuesday evening, USUSA president Trevor Sean Olsen asked council members what they thought about giving 500 tickets to the athletics office to sell. According to Thomas Rogers, the USUSA athletics vice president, all profits made from selling those tickets would go to the athletics office.
Rogers said he would agree to sell tickets to the public but wants to start with an amount smaller than 500.
“We are fostering a relationship with athletics,” Rogers said. “Athletics does so much for USU; they give the university exposure in such a positive manner.”
According to Rogers, student support of the football team rose with the defeat of Boise State University on Oct. 16 — another game in which student tickets were given to the athletic department for sale to the public. He suspected a win against San Diego State University would result in higher student attendance for the BYU game. USU lost the Friday game in San Diego 48-14.
Bowl positioning could nonetheless be on the line when the in-state rivals meet on Nov. 28 in the last game of the regular season. Utah State won the last meeting 35-20 in front of a sold-out crowd in Provo. The 2013 contest, which was held in Logan, also sold out.
Leah Calder, the USUSA service vice president, voiced her support of the sale considering the game is during Thanksgiving weekend and some students will be out of town.
“If students want to be at home that is where they will be, so if we want to fill the stadium we will need to sell the tickets,” Calder said.
“My goal is to always have a full stadium,” he said.
Not everyone was ready to move ahead with a give-away, though.
“I do feel great about helping athletics but we’ve been appointed and elected to protect students,” said Madison Maners, the public relations and marketing director for USUSA. “We need to make sure whatever we do is in the best interest of the students.”
Leon Jackson, the director of ticketing and customer service at USU, had the same sentiment as Maners.
“Our students are our number one consumers and we want to make their experience as great as possible,” Jackson said.
Jackson said the extra student tickets the athletics office receives are sold to scholarship donors and the general public.
Maners said 511 tickets were sold of the 1,000 tickets given to the athletics office for the Boise State football game on Oct. 16. There are 6,500 student tickets available per football game. No students were turned away from the game as 3,623 tickets were distributed to students and only 3,321 students actually attended the game.
When student tickets were sold out for the game against Southern Utah University, Jackson said the extra general seating tickets the athletics office had were handed out to students at the box office on game day.
“We’re in this together and we look out for each other,” Jackson said. “It’s the Aggie way.”
Rogers said the only time the athletics office has asked for leftover student tickets has been for the football games that occur during a school break.
The USUSA executive council decided to postpone the vote on whether to give the athletics office extra student tickets until after the San Diego State game.
Rachel Reid, Ashley Springer, Bianca Pahl, Kate Leach, Cassandra Solarte and Jackson Wilde contributed to this report.