By WHITNEY RAVEN
KENNESAW, Ga. — While many other universities provide free admission for young children, Kennesaw State University’s Athletic Department requires every child to buy a ticket even if they are 1-year-old.
All patrons must have a ticket for admission for football and men’s basketball games regardless of age, according to KSU’s athletic website. No other sporting events require a ticket.
Isaac Fisher, 25, a senior majoring in psychology, said he does not understand why Kennesaw State would not implement a policy allowing children under a certain age to be admitted to these events for free.
“Men’s basketball games are not that expensive and $6 doesn’t seem like a lot to pay for a ticket but when you are paying for your 15-month-old who just sits in your lap, it doesn’t make sense,” Fisher said. “It isn’t like she is taking a seat away from anyone. She sits with me and we shouldn’t have to pay for a seat we won’t be using.”
Single-game ticket pricing for KSU’s 2015 inaugural football season ranged from $25-$35 per ticket.
“My mom watched my daughter so I didn’t have to pay for her to get into the first football game,” Fisher said. “I found it pretty ridiculous that I couldn’t share that experience with her unless I paid $35 to have her just sit in my lap.”
Bobby Lindsey, director of ticket sales and operations, said that other local universities have the same policy.
“Both Georgia Tech and Georgia have this policy,” Lindsey said. “All patrons need a ticket regardless of age for all of their events, not just football.”
Lindsey anticipated the ticket sales being sold out through the football season.
“With every seat being used and the student section filled to the gills, we have to ensure that we have enough space for everyone, including children,” Lindsey said. “Even in a student section in which seating is general admission, should we have un-ticketed patrons, we will have an issue with space. Compound that with the necessary items required for small children such as drinks, snacks, diaper bags, toys and baby carriers, space quickly disappears.”
Of course Fisher and many others parents are happy to hold young children on their laps.
Plenty of Football Bowl Subdivision universities and other professional sports arenas that allow free entry to children under a certain age, as long as they sit in the lap of a paid patron.
The University of Cincinnati allows children, who are three years old or younger, free entry if they sit on an adult’s lap. Even Phillips Arena allows children under the age of two free admittances to the Atlanta Hawks basketball games, according to NBA.com.
Turner Field, where you can catch a Braves major league baseball game, and the Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium where you can watch football for the University of Texas have similar policies.
Other sporting events held on Kennesaw State’s campus allow free general admission to everyone.
Landis Coulter, a father who frequently attends lacrosse games with his young daughter, does not agree with KSU’s children admission policy to the football and men’s basketball games.
“I get to take my daughter out at a young age and expose her to a great atmosphere,” Coulter said. “Being a sports guy, I like to spend time bonding with my daughter at the local campus athletic events. I can’t imagine paying a total of $70 to attend a football game with her.”
Fifth Third Bank Stadium, which plays host to the KSU football games, can seat 8,300, including 572 club seats and 132 patio seats, according to ksuowls.com.
The Convocation Center, where Kennesaw State men’s home basketball games take place, has a max capacity of 4,600, also according to the athletics website.
Fisher said he will no longer attend men’s basketball games until his daughter can be admitted for free.
“It’s not even about the $6,” Fisher said. “The Convocation Center is never sold out for the basketball games so I don’t understand why they just can’t change the policy on children who don’t occupy a seat. Until this ticket policy changes, you won’t catch me at a game.”