By Jay McDaniel, Assistant Sports Editor—
During the UTC football season, especially with the Mocs starting the season 4-0, going to a football game at Finley Stadium can be a chore.
One thing that can make the day even more drawn out than before is having to wait through a line to get your tickets, especially if the line is horribly long. That’s one problem I’ve noticed at Finley.
I work for the UTC Ticketing office, selling tickets to football games, basketball games, and a lot of other events on campus. I typically work in the ticket booth built into the First Tennessee Pavilion across from the main entrance to Finley Stadium. If a football game starts at 7:00 on a Saturday, I arrive at 3:30 and start selling. I end up shutting down my selling window at around 8:30, around when halftime usually begins.
From about an hour before the game to the beginning of the second quarter, the line will still be active. I’ve tried to figure out what takes so long, and I think I’ve narrowed it down to a couple of things.
One reason is that the ticketing offices are unprepared. We hardly have enough computers, printers, or booths to sell from in order to make our services convenient. At the UTC vs. Samford game I was set up in a booth right outside of the Skybox entrance. Actually, I wasn’t really in the booth. There’s a small ticket window built into each of the tall yellow pillars on the long sides of the stadium, but those only support one customer at a time. Another worker was already inside that booth working, so I was tasked with setting up a table right outside. I had a broken tent above me, (that wasn’t originally offered to me though I would’ve been placed in direct sunlight) a plastic folding table without a money drawer, and no computer mouse. All of this can affect the convenience of my services.
Another reason people struggle to get into the game in time is waiting too long to get in line. The line in front of the ticket window typically starts to form around an hour before the game, but people have been meandering through the First Tennessee Pavilion for almost an hour already. Customers will walk right by an opportunity to skip the line later when they pass the ticket booth with open sales windows, instead they walk right into the pavilion to begin engaging in game day fun. Another way that a customer can skip the line is buying their tickets in advance, whether it be over the phone with the ticket office, or in person at Gate A of McKenzie Arena during their office hours.
Getting into a Mocs football game on a Saturday can be a struggle, but it doesn’t have to be! If these problems were solved then there would be a much shorter delay.