ACC Ticket Situation Shows Athletic Department Has a Lot to Learn

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Late last Friday, I posted a rant about Virginia Tech’s poor fan showing at the ACC tournament in Greensboro, noting
that VT had failed to sell out their full allotment of tournament tickets. While I’m disappointed that Hokie fans didn’t
show a better appetite for tourney tickets and didn’t show up in large numbers in Greensboro, the discussion that ensued
revealed that the Virginia Tech athletic department, in the person of the Hokie Club, learned a harsh lesson about
supply and demand – or lack thereof – with regards to basketball tickets. In their efforts to sell the tickets, the
Hokie Club made numerous mistakes along the way.

Once word got out that the Hokies hadn’t sold through their allotment of tournament tickets, some spirited discussion
ensued on the TSL message boards, and the Richmond Times-Dispatch followed up with an article on the matter, giving Lu
Merritt, Virginia Tech’s director of development for intercollegiate athletics, the chance to state the Hokie Club’s
position.

Facts from the RT-D article:

  • Tech had an allotment of about 1300 tickets, about 100 of which were doled out to athletic department
    “obligations,” leaving 1200 tickets to sell.
  • In February (date unspecified), the Hokie Club sent a mailing to its top 600 donors, who each had the right to
    purchase two books of tickets at $363 apiece.
  • When the allotment didn’t sell through from that mailing, the Hokie Club notified 1400 lower-level Hokie Club
    members that tickets were available. The notification was sent via US Mail, apparently in early March, because many
    Golden Hokies reported not receiving their notifications until Friday, March 3rd, or Monday, March 6th, or later …
    with the
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