For big games such as the Ateneo vs De Lasalle mens senior basketball matches, a new system has been adapted by the UAAP board. ADMU vs DLSU games are almost always held on a Sunday and at the Araneta Big Dome. It follows a game that starts at 2PM, so it gets to start around 4PM. During the first round encounter of both teams on the 9th of August 2009 and on the second round encounter on the 16th of August 2009, the first game started at 12PM and after the game the spectators were asked to leave the Araneta. Around 3PM the ADMU and DLSU fans were allowed to enter the Big Dome and game time started at 5PM. So for the 2nd game of the day, a new set of tickets were sold, if you want to watch both games, you would have to have a tickets for each match, you would have to step out after the first game, fall in line for the second game and enter at the designated time.

The UAAP board changed to this system in the hope of allowing more fans to be able to watch the games. So what was my observation-tickets are still difficult to come by with tickets still ending up in the hands of scalpers/touts. Fan turn out of these two games have decreased significantly. The first game had 15,500 with the second game with almost the same numbers. Previous seasons would range in the 17,500-18,500 with a record high of 22,000 for an ADMU vs DLSU game. This past 2 games even showed some lower box seats empty probably because of the exorbitant prices of scalpers. They say that the numbers are less because the spectators of the first game who would normally stay to watch the second game now are asked to leave. They say that those high numbers included non Ateneans and Lasallians. Personally, I don’t think so, simply because their  still is a shortage of tickets and that scalpers are still rampant. If for anything, I think the new system just got more tickets in the the hands of the scalpers.

The real question is what is the paper trail of the distribution of tickets from the time it leaves the presses. At one time I was lucky enough to be one of the first 10 in line on the first day of ticket selling, with the only available tickets being Upper A, Upper B and General Admission so where did the Patron and Lower box tickets go? There was a particular season when the DLSU community paid for a full page newspaper ad asking where did all the tickets for the upcoming ADMU vs DLSU go? Oh yes that particular time we the Ateneo were the season host.

I read an article writen by Ric Olivares in his sports column about the life of a scalper. This scalper will scalp any event that requires a ticket. This particular scalper was even able to send his children through college by scalping! I did some research via the net and the hatred for scalpers out weight those who believe it is just a business. Olivares I heard plans to do research on this dark phenom called scalping, I’m sure this will be good reading. Like I said there must be some sort of trail on how this tickets are distributed. With the proper grease money and the promise of secrecy we can get to the bottom of this.

There really must be a better and fair way to get a ticket. A blue collar Ateneo alumnus, a primary school student, middle school student, high school student, college student, graduate school student, Faculty member or even a custodian for that matter should be able to buy Patron tickets. After all aren’t we all members of the Ateneo family to begin with?