One reason the Georgetown Hoyas’ non-conference schedule may have come out earlier than expected could be a new feature in the season ticket rules. Georgetown has a new opt-in ticket strategy to allow empty seats in the 100-level sections of Kente One Arena to be redistributed and filled for six lesser-attended non-conference games.
Another interesting twist is the required "opt-in" for season ticket holders for 6 out-of-conference games.— Philadelphia Hoyas (@PhillyHoyas) July 28, 2021
The goal is to fill the lower bowl--season ticket holders can request up to 4 additional tickets per game and GU will arrange the fans so the crowd doesn't look so sparse pic.twitter.com/BOZ4Lw0Wnw
Season ticket holders who want to go to one or more of the Dartmouth, American, Siena, Longwood, UMBC, and Howard games have to request their tickets—and can request up to four more tickets than their usual allotment. If a season ticket holder is not able to go, her seat will be made available for redistribution for another season ticket holder or, potentially, resale by GU. With no seats saved specifically for each season ticket holder, Georgetown can redistribute and optimize the placement of fans. Many seats in the lower bowl won’t necessarily be empty just because the respective season ticket holder is a no-show.
More details on the opt-in process are likely coming when the MY HOYAS account opens up, but it certainly sounds like Georgetown will be using this method to try to fill would-be-empty seats closer to the court in order to better create a home-court advantage at the arena and presented on TV.
One might question, do they really want Timothy Ighoefe to hear what I have to say?
Additionally, all season ticket holders who renew by Tues., Aug. 3, 2021 at 5:00 PM will be entered in drawings for special prizes and experiences from the season ticket renewal incentive program (more details available here). The prizes include courtside seats, BIG EAST Tournament tickets, away game tickets, and a seat upgrade for the season!
Regarding the opt-in policy, the 2021-22 Men’s Basketball Season Ticket Renewal page says:
Your season ticket purchase will include tickets to the following twelve regular season home games to be played at Capital One Arena during the 2021-22 men’s basketball season:
- Saturday, December 11, v. Syracuse
- Saturday, December 18, v. TCU
- All 10 regular season home games against each of our BIG EAST opponents: Butler, Creighton, Connecticut, DePaul, Marquette, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John’s, Villanova, Xavier
Season ticket holders may also opt in for complimentary tickets to any of the other six non-conference home games. For each of these six games, you will be able to request the number of season ticket you have, plus up to four additional tickets for any guests you may want to bring. These games are as follows:
- Saturday, November 13, v. Dartmouth
- Tuesday, November 16, v. American
- Saturday, November 20, v. Siena
- Tuesday, November 30, v. Longwood
- Wednesday, December 8, v. UMBC
- Wednesday, December 15, v. Howard
While we hope that all season ticket holders attend every Hoyas home game, we also ask that you only opt in for tickets for these six games that you are going to use. Having a higher utilization rate on distributed tickets means that we can maximize seating close to the court and improve the home-court advantage for the Hoyas as much as possible. You will be able to request your same season seat locations for these games, if you would like.
Any requested tickets for these six games will be complimentary and not be able to be resold. We will send an email with how to opt in for these games and request additional tickets for guests in September.
Many fans will love the idea of more/closer tickets for these games. Bring your daughter and her four teammates to the Siena game (good luck). Let’s keep the upper levels closed!
Partial sellout at Verizon Center. pic.twitter.com/cweezfzQVa— Patrick Stevens (@D1scourse) November 30, 2016
On the flip side, season ticket holders will have to actively plan and opt in for each of the six games they do want to see in person. Failure to do so may waive a claim to a season ticket for that game. There could be more than a few confused GU fans wandering around Chinatown in mid-November.
For instance, if a geezer from the class of 1971 (my dad’s class, I’m allowed to joke) forgets to opt in for the opening game against Dartmouth, he will likely not be able to sit in his seats for that game come Saturday, November 13th. One would probably not suggest showing up on game day without a definitive ticket, but there will probably be an open seat or two available around game day for those who failed to opt in correctly. Whether a seat request on the day of the game would be “free,” however, is another question.
Some fans have pointed out that the new policy may hurt the ultra-important attendance numbers that would have counted empty-but-paid-for seats, however, it will probably help actual gate attendance. Sporadic seating has long plagued Hoya home games. Folks have pleaded in this comment section for Capital One Arena to close off the upper decks of the arena and this is the answer. Even Casual himself has pontificated on the necessity of boosting attendance to games.
This policy hopes to fill the lower bowl with more fans, as well as bring new fans closer to the action. Moreover, it should help with game day management. food stands and beer sellers can likely focus on the lower area, too, which could fewer closed storefronts in the main concourse. A ticketing option with General Admission (e.g., in 100-level sections, rows above K) may have been easier but likely more difficult to implement and enforce.
Some season ticket holders may defeat the purpose by preemptively opting in, in case they change their minds or might find seat fillers. Don’t let those seats go unused and don’t sell them to Hoya-haters on StubHub. Georgetown might consider discouraging over-claiming with promises to help find seats after the opt-in deadline(s).
This policy may seem a little confusing, but it will hopefully help with fan engagement and crowd appearance on TV. Most fans will be delighted at the chance to have their seats upgraded for some of these six games. Likewise, while it may seem like season tickets cost about the same price as 2019-20, only with six fewer games, it’s important to value that you’re also getting free seats to six games (with extra tickets available). Take advantage of this and fill the lower bowl for every home game! Plan now!
Finally, yes, we all wish Georgetown had an awesome on-campus arena, but good luck with parking plans and convincing the neighborhood. Maybe when we have AI-powered hover-cars it will be feasible.