Hoops lottery gets facelift

Andrea Ford

Loyal basketball fans may be pleased to learn that consistent game attendance this season will give them a considerable advantage in the revamped ticket lottery system, student government officials reported this week.

According to the SGA website, “In light of the recent and anticipated success on the men’s basketball team, it is expected that demand for tickets will exceed supply.”

To increase fairness, convenience and game attendance, the lottery will now involve a weighting system that will increase or decrease students’ chances of winning tickets as a result of their past success in the lottery as well as their game attendance records.

The objective is to reward dedicated fans and discourage students from entering the lottery and not using their tickets, leaving seats empty when some did not have the opportunity to attend.

John Imperiale, SGA basketball lottery chair, designed the new lottery system with technical help from Office for University Information Technologies consultant Chris Connelly.

Imperiale said the mathematical specifics of the points system are somewhat complicated but that basically after a lottery there will be three outcomes: students who win tickets and attend the games, students who win tickets and fail to attend and students who do not win tickets.

A computer system will automatically calculate and store each student’s point record. After a lottery, students who enter but do not win tickets will be assigned the most points, giving them an advantage in future lotteries.

Students who win tickets and actually attend games will be given a slightly smaller amount of points, giving them a corresponding advantage. Finally, students who win tickets but fail to attend the games will have points subtracted from their total, decreasing their chances in the next lottery.

Additionally, every lottery will have a follow-up round in which students who did not win the first time will be given the chance to win unclaimed tickets.

Like last year, students will enter the lottery through a link on the SGA website and will be notified of the outcome through an e-mail.

However, this time around, students will not be asked to wait in long lines on ticket distribution nights but will rather be instructed to pick up tickets at the Jake Nevin Field House ticket office within a given time period.

“Last year, students could theoretically lose 10 games in a row,” Imperiale said.

“The purpose of the new system is to make sure that the most loyal fans keep going to the games.”

Co-designer Connelly added, “I believe we have fully achieved our goals with this new, weight-based lottery system.”

Attendance will be electronically monitored at the entrance to student seating areas, where students will have to swipe their Wildcards through card readers attached to personal digital assistant devices, which will transfer the data to the computer system.

The implementation of the new system is in its final stages of testing, and SGA hopes for its completion before the season begins.

SGA President Maureen Holland is pleased with the new initiative. “People just want to enjoy the games, and this new system will relieve a lot of stress for fans,” she said.

“Stress shouldn’t be a part of Villanova basketball.”