You've probably heard one or two stories over the years like this.
A pro team or college is sick and tired of having thousands of visiting fans show up for a big rivalry game. They devise a way to keep those fans from so easily acquiring tickets for that game. The Minnesota Vikings of the NFL have a policy designed to keep Green Bay Packer fans out of their annual meeting in Minneapolis. The San Diego Chargers have tried to shut out Oakland Raider fans. Everyone in baseball, it seems, tries to limit the number of Cub fans that get in.
Ripped from that concept comes a really bad idea.
Connecting you to your favorite North Texas sports teams as well as sports news around the globe.
Oklahoma State University is trying to disguise this idea as a money grab, but the reality is that it's an attempt to discourage Oklahoma fans from attending the November 29 game in Stillwater.
Sadly, it's an idea that is likely to leave upwards of 20,000 empty seats at Boone PIckens Stadium for the annual Bedlam game.
How does OSU allow something like this to happen? Well, they apparently figured they could keep OU fans out of the stadium if they put some conditions on the purchase of tickets for the Bedlam game.
Those conditions? Fans must buy season tickets to get a ticket for the Oklahoma game. With season tickets ranging from $245 to $419 a pop, you're looking at a bill of up to $980 (to get the lower price, you have to buy four season tickets). Even the craziest Oklahoma fans aren't going to pay that price.
Unfortunately for Oklahoma State, not enough of their own fans are that nuts. They "only" sold 39,000 season tickets.
"The strategy isn't about the short-term consequences of empty seats for the 2008 Bedlam game but the long term success of athletics at OSU," (associate AD Craig) Clemons wrote. "If we are to compete for championships in the Big 12 Conference we must sell more season tickets."
This is a bunk defense of a terrible policy that violates every premise of what college football is supposed to be about. I have no problem with schools devising ways to make home games into actual home games.
But it's often the home team's own season-ticket holders who betray them. When you have a sold-out stadium, your ticket becomes extremely valuable on the internet. And if you can make a profit - legal or not - by selling your game ticket to a fan from the other team, you're probably going to seriously consider it.
In the end, OSU will look bad. They're going to have thousands of empty seats for one of the biggest games in school history. It just doesn't add up.