By Evan Pellegrino
JACOB KONST/Arizona Daily Wildcat
With the creation of a new student section in McKale Center, students will no longer be relegated to seats surrounded by non-students during UA home basketball games this season.
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Students attending UA men's basketball games will have something new to cheer about next season, with the addition of an official student seating section.
In recent years, Arizona was one of the only schools in the Pacific 10 conference without a true student section.
Stanford and California are among the Pac-10 programs that have students sitting courtside, with the "Sixth Man" and "The Bench" cheering on the Cardinal and Golden Bears.
Students attending games in McKale Center have been forced to sit in two separate areas located across the arena from one another.
Starting next season, students will be seated together behind the north basket, in a united student section stretching from the court to the rafters.
"It's about damn time," said Matt Wehr, a psychology junior.
Wehr said he regularly attends UA basketball games and is excited about the new student section and the energy he hopes it will bring.
"It's going to get crazy in there," Wehr said. "I can't wait."
The new concentrated student section will give general-admission seating to students who win the men's basketball ticket lottery, to be held in September.
For those students who do win season-long entry into McKale Center for UA home games, the first to arrive will have the chance for the best seats.
In order to qualify for the lottery, students must register by Sept. 19 by visiting arizonaathletics.com.
While students are not required to be a part of the Zona Zoo spirit club to be lottery winners, it will only help their chances.
Becoming a member of the student-only club, which costs $40, gives students access to all home sporting events with the exception of men's basketball, in addition to giving students an even greater opportunity to win tickets via the lottery. For every year a student has been a Zona Zoo member, he or she will receive two extra chances to win the men's basketball ticket lottery.
Lottery winners will have the opportunity to purchase one general-admission, season-long ticket for $72. In previous years, students could purchase two tickets for entry into half a season's games.
Students who don't win the lottery do, however, have other options to see hall-of-fame head coach Lute Olson and his nationally ranked Wildcats play in McKale Center.
Just as in previous years, the only home games not included in the student lottery package are those during winter break, when many students are not on campus. Student holiday ticket packs will become available during the fall semester, allowing students to purchase two tickets to home games during winter break, including the Fiesta Bowl Classic tournament, hosted by the UA.
An online ticket-sale forum has also been established by ASUA, allowing students who win the lottery to post the dates of games they won't be able to attend and sell their unused tickets.
A small number of assigned-seating tickets often go on sale on or near game day, when visiting teams return unused portions of their allotted tickets to the McKale Center Ticket Office. Any unused tickets will be announced by the UA athletics department and will go on sale during the week of the game up to an hour and 30 minutes prior to tipoff.