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OSU’s Allotment of NCAA Wrestling Tournament Tickets to Be Short

Programs across the country shorted on their NCAA tournament ticket requests

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Wrestling programs everywhere recently received notice from the NCAA that they would not be receiving their full requested allotment of NCAA wrestling tournament tickets. Most were not happy.

The shortage is, in part, being blamed on the venue. The 2019 NCAA tournament will take place at the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh. According to their website their capacity is 18,387 for hockey and 19,000 for basketball. Based on the configuration they’re projecting in the arena they’re planning for a 16,000 person capacity at the event. The attendance for last year’s final in Cleveland was 19,776 and a total upwards of 24,000 tickets were requested by the various NCAA wrestling programs, which is obviously a lot more than the capacity of the arena.

The next issue at play for Oklahoma State specifically is the “Tiers” when it comes to ticket allocation. Any school that finished from 11-20 in last year’s NCAA tournament, which includes OSU, gets roughly the same allotment. That creates a problem for a tradition-rich program like OSU that travels pretty well to this event. As a top 3 team this season they find themselves with an allotment similar to Lock Haven, who received more tickets and doesn’t have quite the same kind of expectation this season nor the same kind of fan following.

OSU requested roughly 900 tickets. They only received 40 percent of the total number of tickets requested, which is around 360 tickets. That doesn’t necessarily mean only 40 percent of fans that requested NCAA tickets will receive them. The 900 may have been an over estimate of demand and hopefully a larger number than what was actually requested by fans. It may have been the exact number requested by fans and 540 people will be left out. That information was not available.

So what happens now?

I don’t really know. OSU will have to come up with some way to allocate the tickets based on what was given and some fans will likely be left out. I’m told that the strategy for how they will distribute them has not been determined yet. Fans will still have the option to purchase tickets on the secondary market. Unfortunately, those won’t necessarily be in the same section as other OSU fans and will likely carry a very high price tag as teams all over the country are in a similar scenario.

On one hand, it’s wonderful that the demand for this event is growing. It’s a great sign for the sport. On the other hand, it’s bad for fans who have made plans for this and may not be able to attend. It also shows a horrible lack of planning by the NCAA to make sure tickets are properly allocated and a suitable venue is used. I’ve been told that John Smith was not pleased to learn of this two days ago and I’m sure will make his displeasure known to whoever he can to assure it doesn’t happen again.

 

 

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