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Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Colorado's genius attendance arbitrage

By Eamonn Brennan

Let's face it, women's basketball games are not well-attended.

That is not necessarily an indictment of women's basketball. After all, plenty of collegiate events suffer attendance issues, issues that span gender and type. No one would argue that the women's game is "better" than the men's, but it does have plenty of unique, subtle appeal. Unfortunately, far fewer people care. This is the way of the world. Getting butts in seats requires creativity.

Colorado's athletics department has no illusions on the matter. Even more amusing, it has zero compunction about leveraging what it does have -- in this case, a super-hot men's hoops ticket. Which is how Buffs brass arrived at this genius plan:
The claim process for the Kansas men's basketball game, which takes place on Saturday, December 7 at 1:15 p.m., will take place Wednesday, November 20 at the No. 16-ranked women's basketball team's game against Iowa at 8:30 p.m. at the Coors Events Center.
Students will enter through the southeast entrance of the Coors Events Center beginning at 7:30 p.m. You will swipe your Buff OneCard and receive a wristband, which you will need to keep on. Your wristband guarantees you your ticket to the Kansas game. If you leave the Events Center prior to the conclusion of the game, your wristband will be removed.

To get their Kansas tickets, Colorado students have to go to the court immediately following the women's game, where they can exchange their wristband for a ticket. That's brilliant.

Now, if I was a student and a rabid men's basketball fan at Colorado, would I be especially thrilled? Probably not. Being a student is kind of a busy process, and you're telling me that to attend the best men's hoops game of the year -- when old Big 12 rival Kansas and star freshman Andrew Wiggins come to town -- I have to take two-plus hours out of a separate, totally unrelated night? This would make me kind of angry. Maybe I have an exam that week, and it's dumb for me to go. Maybe I blocked off the one Colorado game I want to make it to this season. Likewise, if I was a player for the Lady Buffs, I'm not sure how I'd feel. More students in seats is great, but do you really want to play to a begrudging crowd?

Ah, well, whatever. It's not like Colorado athletics are making students do a 10K run; they have to sit through two hours of a basketball game they probably weren't planning on attending. At least they don't have to dress up.

(Hat tip: Norlander)