Why Student Tickets Should Remain Free Michael Wilson, Alexandra Doubles, and Madeline Huffman

Quick facts about Clemson Football

  1. Only team in the ACC, SEC, and Big 12 that still has free student tickets.
  2. Clemson's memorial stadium holds a total of 81,500 people, but the record for attendance is 86,092.
  3. On October 15, 2012, Southern Living named Clemson the South's best tailgate.
  4. The football teams expenses totals up to $34,668,941, the teams revenue totals up to $45,930,086, making a large profit of $11,261,145.
  5. A $55 million dollar complex was completed this year for the football team. This facility includes mini golf course, sand volley ball court, and a replica of The Hill and Howard's rock.
  6. Coach Dabo Swinney received a raise from $3.3 million to $4.5 million a year in 2016 right around when the increase in ticket price was proposed, making him number 8 for highest paid college coaches.

In 2016, after giving Dabo a raise and deciding to build a new football facility for $55 million, it was proposed for Clemson to start charging students $225 for tickets that were always free.

A cost of $225 would be putting Clemson at the number 6 spot for priciest student tickets. As you can see students and alumni alike were not happy with the proposed changes to student tickets, even starting #CUWontPayIt on Twitter. They even started a petition receiving over 9,000 signatures, which is almost half of the undergrad student body.

With the already huge expense students are paying to attend Clemson, they may not be able to afford the extra costs of football tickets. Being number 10 in priciest out of state school, it would be wrong to add any extra fees to attend something that should be free. Although the proposed plan was originally to charge the $225 for seats in the lower deck, it would further the divide between the students who can and can't afford it. Joey Wilson said it best, "We are concerned that this new policy will divide the Clemson Family between students who have the means to pay for season tickets and those who do not, and this has many negative implications" later saying “There’s a lot of tradition at Clemson of letting students come to football games for free, which is something beautiful about Clemson, and it’s something that should continue.”

Although the proposed plan for charging students was ultimately denied, the topic could be revisited due winning the National Championship. It may be seen as a way to bring in some extra money from Clemson football. With students always packing the stands and being one of the biggest football schools in the nation, this proposal can be seen as an easy way to make a few bucks. With all the new housing going up around Clemson, the number of students is growing. The student section doesn't have any room to grow right now so the number of student tickets will remain the same. With students already not receiving tickets sometimes just because they aren't members of IPTAY this furthers the divide between those who can and can't afford it.

The football team already has huge profits, enough to cover a pay raise and to pay for a new practice facility. So why do we need to charge students for football tickets? Not only charging them, but charging one of the highest rates out of any major football school is absurd. Clemson football has always been a huge tradition, especially their free student tickets. It would be wrong to deny that tradition to future generations. Not to mention how much these students already pay to attend school; it might make some students unable to afford football tickets creating a divide in the student body between those who can and cannot pay.

We hope to continue to have moments like these, free for students for years to come.


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1/9/17 Clemson Alma Mater on Field Post National Championship Win. Youtube. TigerillustratedHD, 9 Jan. 2017. Web. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5pVmDeY8Yw

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Connolly, Matt. "$55 Million Clemson Complex near Completion, Even Has a Nap Room."Thestate. N.p., 16 Aug. 2016. Web. http://www.thestate.com/sports/college/acc/clemson-university/article96094877.html

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Fornelli, Tom. "Clemson's Dabo Swinney Gets New Contract with a Top-10 Salary."CBSSports.com. N.p., 12 Apr. 2016. Web. http://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/clemsons-dabo-swinney-gets-new-contract-with-a-top-10-salary/

LaFleur, Elizabeth Sanders. "Clemson Students Petition against Ticket Pricing Plan." The Greenville News. N.p., 12 Apr. 2016. Web. http://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/news/2016/04/12/clemson-students-petition-keep-football-tickets-free/82929276/

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Robinson, Manie. "Clemson Students Must Accept Change in Ticket Charge." The Greenville News. N.p., 15 Apr. 2016. Web. http://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/sports/college/clemson/2016/04/15/clemson-student-tickets-radakovich-petition-football-dabo-swinney-contract/83074726/

Taylor, Julian. "Keep Student Tickets Free at Clemson University." Change.org. N.p., 2016. Web. https://www.change.org/p/keep-student-tickets-free-at-clemson-university?recruiter=8736319&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=share_twitter_responsive

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