UConn walk-on P.J. Cochrane shoots a free throw at Gampel Pavilion in front of the student section. Photo by Matt McDonough To get UConn men's and women's basketball Gampel Pavilion and XL Center season tickets, students would camp out by the ticket office and wait in line. Student tickets were distributed on a “first come- first serve” basis until 2004 when some students that camped out in the rain were told there weren't enough tickets left to satisfy the demand. A “wristband” system on Fairfield Way was implemented the next two years but students managed to cheat the system. In 2007, UConn switched the system to a ticket lottery.
The student section is both the top and bottom sections behind the visitors’ (far) hoop. Photo by Matt McDonough The online weighted lottery is designed so academic seniors have a better chance at winning than freshmen. Winners are chosen at random by a computer system. Around 16 percent of UConn students “win” the rights to basketball tickets. Students receive an e-mail with a link to register through the athletics website. After winners are notified by email, they have a certain time to buy their tickets. At a later date and time, availablestudent seats are released to the rest of the student population in an online “first come- first serve” purchase system.
The 2011 national champion picture is already on the Gampel wall. The banner will be unveiled Nov. 11 at the season opener. Photo by Matt McDonough Associate Director of Athletics Mike Enright said that seniors names are entered four times while freshmen are entered once in the lottery. “It’s kind of like the NBA Draft lottery,” Enright said in a phone interview. Enright believes the system is better than the wristband system where students would unfairly access season tickets. “Part of the problem is we always felt like we had to beat the students at their own game,” Enright said. Enright also said that with this online system students don’t have to miss class time.
The upper section behind UConn’s basket is also part of the student section. Photo by Matt McDonough Men's basketball tickets for students are $5 at face value, while the women's basketball student tickets are $2.
Jerome Dyson shoots a free throw against William & Mary in 2009. Photo by Colin McDonough The student section at Gampel Pavilion is the bottom and lower sections behind the visitors' basket and the upper section behind the UConn hoop. At the XL Center the student section is also behind the visitors' basket.
Jim Calhoun cuts the net at the Big East championship at Madison Square Garden. Photo by Colin McDonough The UConn student section has increased by 200 seats in 2011, going from 2,500 to 2,700 student tickets available for Gampel Pavilion games, according to an e-mail from Enright. It is the first time the student section has increased since the opening of Gampel Pavilion in 1990.
The scoreboard at Relliant Stadium reads: “National Champions.” UConn will defend its title with a revamped student section. Photo by Colin McDonough “We all know how much our UConn students enjoy men’s basketball games at Gampel Pavilion,” UConn Interim Director of Athletics Paul Pendergast said in a press release. “We decided that this would be a good time to allow more students to be able to purchase season tickets. Gampel Pavilion has the best atmosphere of any college basketball arena in the country and Coach [Jim] Calhoun believes much of that is due in part to the student body. These extra 200 seats will only enhance the atmosphere.”