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Getting Into Hoops Mania 2023

Maggie Graw/Villanovan Photography
Villanova’s annual Hoops Mania sparked new discussions about the University’s ticket lottery system.

Hoops Mania is an annual Villanova tradition with performances from spirit squads, basketball players and one big concert from an artist whose identity is not revealed until they enter the arena. 

This surprise performer is enough to bring almost all Villanova students out, with previous guests including well-known artists like Drake and Nicki Minaj. All this fanfare and general anticipation surrounding the basketball season makes this a highly sought after event. 

However, since the Villanova undergraduate population is around 7,000 and the Finneran (or “the Finn” as it is more commonly referred to) only seats 6,500, not every Villanova Student can attend. 

And so, because of this, tickets are distributed via the infamous lottery system. 

A student’s chances of winning the lottery are supposedly increased by the number of other athletic events they attend, as they receive points for going to events like men’s soccer games or women’s volleyball matches. 

However, even freshmen are already aware of the injustices of this system, with even the most dedicated Villanova fans having a difficult time getting tickets. 

Ultimately, the irregularities of this system seemed to be on full display for this year’s Hoops Mania. Gabriella Radford, a freshman, described these inconsistencies

“I had 130 points myself and had no issue receiving tickets,” Radford said. “I spoke with my Orientation Counselor who is a junior and had no points and even he still received a ticket.” 

Despite most getting tickets, some students were eager to make money off their lottery victory. They tried to resell the tickets through apps like YikYak, Snapchat and Instagram stories. Tickets were going for as high as $60. 

One anonymous YikYak user commented on this, saying how it was “violating the values of caritas, unitas and veritas,” as the reseller got the ticket through the lottery for free and yet was continuing to charge money for it. 

“Since I’ve never experienced a lottery before ,I didn’t know what to expect,” Radford said. “However, considering everyone I talked to got tickets, I found it odd how many people I saw trying to resell. And for high amounts of money too.”

It was not just the tickets that were being put on the market. Those who attended the volleyball game the day prior got early access wristbands to Hoops Mania. 

While some students did this out of pure dedication to the event, some saw it as a chance to make money and tried to resell their wristbands to those desperate to evade the regular entrance line on the day of the event. 

However, the early access wristbands in and of themselves arguably were not worth the wait, as a lot of people who had early access were in the same, if not worse seats than those at the front of the regular line. 

While the ticket selection process for Hoops Mania seemed quite efficient, based on the advice of many upperclassmen, freshmen should not get their hopes up that every lottery process will go this smoothly. 

And that while they may believe that the points they have earned thus far helped them in obtaining tickets to Hoops, this is an unrealistic reality and may be providing false hope. In the case of Wells Fargo Games, winning a ticket may not be as easy

Upperclassmen can warn freshmen about this lottery system however much they want, but most first-years are going to go off the knowledge that they have based on their first lottery: attend games and collect points, and one should be able to go to any game one wants. 

At least, that seems to be the way it worked for Hoops Mania 2023. No matter how students got into the event, 

Hoops Mania got Villanovans excited for the upcoming basketball season, which likely will make the future lotteries that much more competitive. 

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Kailey Fahy
Kailey Fahy, Co-Opinion Editor
Kailey Fahy is a freshman Co-Opinion editor of The Villanovan studying Communications with a specialization in journalism. As the oldest daughter with four younger siblings, Kailey is often described as a people pleaser who is no stranger to chaos. Kailey has always had a passion for English and writing and has even been published in The America Library of Poetry. She especially enjoys being able to give people a voice to share their opinions through her articles. As a New Jersey native, you can find her spending every sunny day between Memorial Day and school’s start at the Jersey Shore, Playa Bowl in hand.
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