The battle for football tickets


CW/ David Gray

Nathan Brown, Contributing Writer

Game day in Tuscaloosa is less than 100 days away, and more than 100,000 fans will pack into Bryant-Denny Stadium once again.  

Tickets are in high demand with opening kickoff right around the corner. Especially for the seats of those that will be cheering on the Crimson Tide from the South side upper and lower bowl sections — the students. 

During the Nick Saban era, Alabama students have seen the road to six national championships run through University Boulevard in Tuscaloosa. As a student at the Capstone, you are not just going to watch your school play on a Saturday — you are witnessing some of the most prominent matchups in all of college football, year in and year out. 

Students can secure their front-row seats to see arguably the greatest college football dynasty of the modern era. Here’s how:  

The University of Alabama students are given a few ticket packages to secure their seats to watch the Crimson Tide during the 2022-23 season.  

The current Alabama football student ticket process, that occurred in April, is as follows:  

Returning students are eligible for a full or partial season ticket package in the lower level. Ticket packages will be awarded based on UA-earned credit hours as of the conclusion of the Fall 2021 semester. Returning students must opt-in during the student opt-in period to receive a student ticket package. All students who request a season ticket package will be guaranteed a ticket package (full or split, dependent upon the number of requests). 

Student ticket packages are priced at $20 per conference game, and $15 per non-conference game. The returning student full package will include tickets to every home game.  

Current packages are efficient, but many feel as though the packages are unable to cater to all students.  

Matt Oakley, a junior at Alabama, is one of many that said students should receive free tickets to home games.  

“I think it’s currently fair, but I disagree with the cost,” Oakley said. “[…] Some students, like myself, are out of state and paying large amounts of money to attend [the University]. The least the University could do is offer free tickets.” 

UA also offers student ticket exchanges to those who may only want to catch the “big game” or just want to experience the electric atmosphere of SEC football once or twice. The student ticket exchange can also be a way to cut the costs of a student package and alleviate some financial burdens.  

However, this can just as well create further difficulties for students looking to get a ticket outside of their package, as many tickets are exchanged between students for much more than the original discounted price. 

“I think automatically giving upperclassman [based off credits] the full package is kind of wrong considering most people sell their tickets for more than they paid for it,” sophomore Tanaiya Sanders said. 

While the University is responsible for seating and the transfer of tickets between students, current protocols cannot stop the up sale of the ticket from a secondary party. First-year students find themselves trying to hunt down affordable ticket exchanges on Fridays before game days because they are only able to request split game packages. 

First-year students are eligible for two packages: This year, package A includes games against Utah St., Mississippi St. and Auburn. Package B includes the Austin Peay, Texas A&M, UL-Monroe and Vanderbilt games. This year’s first-year students will have to choose between going to an Iron Bowl or seeing the highly anticipated matchup vs. Texas A&M. Those hoping to see both will likely have to spend a pretty penny for the ticket exchange. 

This problem could be resolved by implementing a new system one that would only allow students to exchange single-game tickets through the University for the same price it is valued within a season’s package or the discontinuation of the packages all together in favor of single-game ticket sales. 

In the SEC, Vanderbilt is currently the only school that has free student tickets for home games. This is not a feasible option for Alabama with the amount of revenue the school relies on the football program to produce. The Commodores have combined for a total of 11 wins in the last 4 seasons—Alabama won 13 games last season alone, making it safe to say that both teams’ products are worth the cost of admission. 

“I believe I get my money’s worth because Alabama wins,” Oakley said. 

While free student tickets are unlikely to be seen in the near future, reshaping the ticket exchange process and allowing for single game purchases would benefit many students. If student ticket packages are here to stay, it’s certain Crimson Tide fans would rather get their $15 or $20 worth than to see 11 wins through the next 4 seasons.