MBA students develop lottery alternatives
Undergraduate and graduate business students think they could use the Internet to make Wildcat basketball tickets more accessible to students.
Bart Wilson - professor of ECON 507, the Economics of E-commerce -assigned his students to use Internet mechanisms to solve University of Arizona students' difficulties in purchasing basketball tickets.
"Right now, there is a lottery system which forces students to walk to McKale two or three times a week and still not get the seats they want to," Wilson said. "The Internet allows people to come together to solve problems like this."
Wilson assigned 10 projects among both graduate and undergraduate versions of the class. He instructed students to use an existing Internet marketing mechanism to sell UA basketball tickets and therefore replace the lottery system.
"All of them came up with systems in which students bid on tickets, which means those who don't get high-demand seats can still go to some games," Wilson said. "Right now people are out of the market because they don't want to go over and deal with lines or not getting tickets at all."
One of the programs was developed by management information systems and economics graduate students Cheryl Novalis-Marine, Joe Litt, and Isaac Steeb. Their system uses UA's Student Link system as a forum for students to bid on pairs of tickets three weeks prior to the first home game.
Students enter closed bids into each of three ticket groups, "A", "B" and "C," which are divided by location in McKale Center. "A" group tickets are the best seats, and are therefore expected to fetch the highest bid price.
"I think it's a viable proposal," Novalis-Marine said after her groups' in-class presentation. "Our program is the most diverse in filling student needs."
Novalis said her program would also continue with a limited raffle system for those students who only wished to pay the minimum price - $6 - for tickets.
In addition to the student benefits, Novalis said that the university would receive higher revenues.
"Six dollars is the base price for each ticket; for more popular games, tickets will sell for more and the university will increase revenue," she said during her presentation.
Wilson said there is a definite possibility that the programs could be implemented.
"We'll wait until all of the presentations are done to talk to the university about adopting these programs," he said. "But we definitely would want to get someone to at least consider it."f