School Sports Ticketing Software & Fan Behavior

school sports ticketing software

In an unprecedented announcement, the University of Colorado at Boulder (CU) issued behavior guidelines for its students and football fans attending the “Rocky Mountain Showdown.” This post looks at how all school sports events can benefit from emulating CU's preemptive stance, and how ticketing software can help manage fan behavior.

Preemptive Request

The longtime inter-state school rivalry between University of Colorado at Boulder (CU) and Colorado State University (CSU) is a highlight of the college football schedule. So ferocious is the rivalry, past games have resulted in rowdy fans crossing the line of good fun and into more worrisome behavior, often fueled by alcohol. Rather than react to any new incident, CU’s leadership published a statement urging “responsible behavior and good sportsmanship.”

The Rocky Mountain Showdown with CSU is a great rivalry on the field, but off the field it’s a chance to showcase the achievements of our two great universities,” said CU-Boulder Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano. “In that spirit, we both want our student bodies and fans to be safe, be respectful of one another, demonstrate sportsmanship and represent our two universities with pride and character at all opportunities. On Sunday, with our students, our players and notably our reputation on such a public platform it is imperative that we hold our heads high with dignity and conduct ourselves in a manner befitting our name.

The exciting game took place this past weekend, with CU winning 41 to 27 over CSU. No fan behavior of note took place, and overall the game and its numerous ancillary events ran without a hitch.
One of the ancillary events was the alcohol free “Ralphie’s Corral Pregame Party” sponsored by school alumni as an alternative to the traditional parking lot tailgate party. The Alumni alternative event was designed to work in conjunction with the school leadership’s call for good behavior. In addition to the alcohol-free events, there was transportation to and from the stadium provided for free, underwritten by business and local churches.

The effort by both schools to keep the big game fun and incident free is to be commended, especially the proactive stance taken. CU is not the first to manage event attendees behavior. A previous post about selling online event tickets detailed how a museum used its recorded audio guided tour to curb the behavior of patrons.

We’re seeing many more people not familiar with what is proper behavior,” said Derek Gillman, the Barnes’ president and chief executive. He added that the gallery wanted those additional visitors, but with new gallerygoers “we’re seeing more transgressions of people touching things and getting too close” to the art, he said. The audio guide now cautions visitors against touching art and standing too close to paintings and sculptures.

The idea of a venue proactively attempting to govern its attendees behavior is not without controversy - or risk. Venue owners must find just the right balance between an overzealous, heavy handed policy that spoils the fun, and not making any proactive effort at all.

Hope For The Best, Plan For The Worst?

At the level at which University of Colorado at Boulder operates, the benefits of proactive efforts to keep fans behavior in-check are obvious. Tens of thousands of people packed into the relatively small space of a stadium, combined with the known effects of too much alcohol, can be a recipe for disaster. Fortunately CU has the budget (from ticket sales) to hire an army of security personnel, not to mention its wealth boosters and alumni to pay for alcohol-free ancillary events.

But what about smaller sized colleges and community sporting events? Are these budget restricted entities at the mercy of bad behavior by attendees?

“Hope for the best, plan for the worst” needs to be more than just an expression, since the same safety and security concerns held by CU apply to local collegiate sports. Unfortunately, the majority of small town collegiate sports are not ticketed events, and have a “just show up” policy for the seats in the stands. In order to proactively “plan for the best” a school would structure a sports event with either advanced general admission ticket sales, or reserved seating, or a combination of both. The structure of a ticketed event facilitates several ways to manage attendee behavior, without diluting the fun.

For example, tickets can have bar codes that are scanned by event staff at the entrance gates. The act of scanning the ticket, be it paid or free, is a control point at which those who may have had too much to drink before the game can be identified - before they are among others in the stands. Tickets also add an additional layer of legal protection since a liability disclosure can be printed on each one. That printed legal notice can include similar behavior guidelines that CU published ahead of the big game. A non-ticket, “just show up” sports event misses the opportunity to remind the fans of what is expected of them before the game.

The insulating layers tickets provide extend beyond just gate control points and printed reminders. The sports venue (auditorium, playing field, etc.) can be divided up into sections, some or all of which can be made to be reserved seating. Reserved seating can be for paid or free events, but the structure and control is there either way. The rush to get seats can be avoided when school sports ticketing software is part of “planning for best.”

ThunderTix School Sports Ticketing Software

You don’t have to have a big budget like the University of Colorado at Boulder in order to sell tickets to your school sports. Online ticket sales, scanning barcode tickets at entrance gate control points, and reserved seating are can be put into place for just a fraction of what one safety or security incident may cost.

The ThunderTix sports ticketing software has everything a small to medium sized college needs to start selling tickets online. You can set prices for seats or offer them free, but still require that they be reserved in advance. We also have optional custom reserved seating charts so you can split the stadium seating into tiers. Our technology also allows you offer separate ticketing for ancillary events during the purchase process of the primary event. Best of all, we do not charge you per-ticket fees, something every school budget can benefit from.

Interested in learning more about how your school sports can sell tickets and end the risky "just show up" event policy? Be sure to take a look at our other features, huddle up, make a game plan, and sign up for a free trial today! :D