20181028 - Kennel Club Ticket Distribution - MZafranco

GU students wait in line for tickets in front of McCarthy Athletic Center. 

For Gonzaga students opting to stay on campus after the semester ends for GU men’s basketball’s big-time matchup with University of North Carolina, another wrinkle in the process developed over the past week.

An email sent out Dec. 6 by Kennel Club president, Matt Cranston, detailed a unique process for the just under 1,000 students to gain entry into the most sought-after home game in GU history, which required students to line up between 8 and 8:15 a.m. on Wednesday. But five days later, GU Athletics and Kennel Club chose to modify its decision.

Due to backlash, a newer email from Studenttix was sent out on Tuesday moving the time back four hours to noon. 

“Maybe the students are tired of waiting and are tired of doing this,” Cranston said. “I mean, one of the things that we’re seeing obviously with The Kennel is this is not The Kennel of 2005, 2006, because this is not the same Gonzaga that we had in 2005, 2006. Student priorities change.”

Despite multiple attempts by the Bulletin to reach Lindsey Lessing, the marketing director for GU Athletics, she was unavailable for comment. 

In a way similar to the tent running procedure for Tent City games last year, students who wish to reserve a spot in line were instructed to go to a location sent out from The Kennel Club Twitter on Tuesday, the day before the game, at 3 p.m. Groups of up to six students that reach the location will receive a number that will determine their place in line for the game the following day.

However, the line process quickly became a point of contention. On game day, the original email instructed students to stand in line at 8:15 a.m., according to the number they received the day before. At least one student from each group is required to be in the line at all times. That time to line up would later be changed to noon in an email sent Dec. 11.

Cranston said that because GU Athletics and the university preferred that students did not camp out on campus for spots days in advance due to health, safety and cleanliness concerns, this was the next best option.

“There’s kids that would camp out for four or five days in advance and there’s kids that’ll show up at game time,” he said. “How do you meet in the middle and cater with both of those?”

But for more than a dozen students in the following days who hit reply all to multiple email threads to voice their grievances, it was not an ideal setup, especially after students already attended two ticket distributions to get the tickets in the first place. 

Many felt a tenting run process and another wait — potentially eight hours —  were unnecessary. A link to a petition to push the time to later was shared online and gathered 335 supporters in less than 24 hours.

“If they want to do the number system, why don’t we just do it the day of the game, and then wait in line after?” Andrew Grimoldby replied in an email thread to Cranston and 448 other students. “It seems silly to make sure everyone has a plan to stay somewhere for the game and then drop this bomb 12 days before the game happens ... The unnecessary time commitment makes no sense.”

But Cranston said this was a much shorter wait than camping out days in advance, and that there would be food provided and a number of games and activities for those in line. He also added that lining up was optional. 

Students are not required to join the line at 8 a.m. or run for a spot in line, but they will get a choice of seating after the students who do participate.

The same amenities — food, games and activities — will be offered for students in line, and Cranston said he still hopes that the energy will remain the same.

“The entire focus of it was, and still is, to create a community,” he said. “Somewhat like tent city,  just at a different location.”

Connor Gilbert is a sports editor. Follow him on Twitter: @conorjgilbert.


Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.