The struggling Tennessee men’s basketball team might have been put to better use Friday night, as a group of additional volunteers was desperately needed at Verizon Center ticket gates prior to game time.
In Georgetown’s first big draw since installing the revamped card system for season-ticket holders, lines outside the Chinatown arena stretched down F Street, as many students were not able to enter until late in the opening half.
“There was a large number of students who arrived via Metro at nearly the same time, many students were using their ticket cards for the first time and some were attending a game for the first time ever,” a Georgetown spokesman said in a statement. “There was a minor issue with regard to digital ticketing, but that issue was addressed and resolved quickly. We’ve been very pleased with the response and results in our first year of digital ticketing but understand that there may be minor issues here and there.”
Nonetheless, disappointment was rife among those forced to wait.
“We arrived relatively late, so we “We arrived relatively late, so we thought the line would be a little bit shorter thought the line would be a little bit shorter, but it went on and on and on,” Lily Cowles (COL ’13) said. “There were 11 minutes left in the first half [when we got in], and we got here about 6:25 p.m.”
The actual product on the court was worrying, as well — Georgetown shot just 36.4 percent from the field to 4-2 Tennessee’s 32.6, ultimately prevailing by a single point in an ugly 37-36 win that included a scoreless final four minutes.
Just as the Hoyas will look to shoot better in future contests, more traditional start times and more student experience with the new system should help alleviate the lines. Both of these issues were cited in Georgetown’s statement on the long lines and the steps they will take the alleviate the problem.
Friday night’s game was also the best attended of the season so far. Verizon Center boasts a basketball capacity of 20,600 people but the arena posted only slightly more than that number in the Hoyas’ first three home games. The low point was the Nov. 14 contest against Liberty, which drew a paltry crowd of 6,743.
There were 13,656 fans to see the Blue and Gray take on the Volunteers, the biggest crowd since last season’s home finale.
“There are obviously a lot of benefits to this new ticket system, but clearly all the kinks haven’t been worked out yet,” Tyler Sax (COL ’13) said.
Hoya Staff Writers Evan Hollander and Sarah Patrick contributed to this story.