Duke is known for Cameron Indoor Stadium. It’s almost universally named as one the top two or three arenas in the country (usually with the Phog at Kansas). It’s intimate, hot and extraordinarily loud. Along the sidelines the Cameron Crazies stand (or, more likely, jump) for most of the game. The arena only holds just short of 10,000 people, but over a quarter of those seats are taken up by undergraduates and graduates. Additionally, the undergraduate bleachers are the best in the house, which is what makes the Duke home court environment so electric. But Tuesday, a report from Duke’s student newspaper The Chronicle brought light to the fact that Duke has been selling student seats to some home games because of limited student interest.
The Chronicle‘s article is a little misleading. First, the accompanying graph with the article suggests that the fact that the athletic department sells a lot of student tickets during winter break is a new occurrence. Everybody knows that schools sell those tickets — especially private schools that have a widespread student geographic distribution like Duke. The winter break ticket sales are irrelevant to the report. Mike Forman, the Director of Marketing & Promotions for Duke’s athletic department, said the move to sell the tickets has more to do with better estimates of undergraduate interest “based on opponent, day of the week, extracurricular activities, exam schedules, et cetera.” That estimated number of extra tickets are being sold first to Iron Dukes (Duke donors), then season ticket holders for women’s basketball and football, and, only then, to the general public. This is definitely the correct move. I wish the tickets were a little more reasonably priced (they’re $65 a pop), but the extra space shouldn’t go to waste.