In an effort to improve student involvement and home attendance, Utah Valley Athletics has decided to include admission to all of its home events in the fees students already pay.
All that will be required of students to gain entrance to the sporting events on campus will be a valid UVU ID. Annual fees will not be increased to supplement the change.
UVU Student Association President Jono Andrews believes it’s a change that makes sense for everyone.
“Every student pays for student fees on top of tuition,” Andrews said. “A chunk of that, actually $112 I think, goes to athletics of the $350 (total fee). We felt that students should get in for free. In my opinion they’re already paying for it.”
The discussion to implement free student admission has been in the works for years, according to Andrews. There was some hesitance to make the change because of the way the MAWL, or Mighty Athletic Wolverine League, was set up.
Previously, students paid $20 to receive a sports pass to get into all Wolverine home games. The package came with preferred seating, free food at pregame tailgates, a free t-shirt and other giveaways.
Now, the MAWL membership is being retooled to offer a singular fan experience that will include free food and/or drink during games, the aforementioned perks and inclusion in prize drawings.
“We’re beefing up what the MAWL pass will be for next year,” Andrews said.
The decision does subtract the money students were spending on a ticket from the athletic budget, but the difference appears to be minimal enough as to not have a significant impact.
Andrews feels that the new policy could not have better timing, considering UVU is now competing in the Western Athletic Conference – the most prominent league the university has belonged to since gaining NCAA Division I status in 2008.
In addition to free entry to games on campus, the parties involved in the decision – UVU Athletics, UVUSA and UVU Alumni Association – are offering a package deal that permits fans to travel to Las Vegas for the WAC men’s and women’s basketball tournaments March 12-15.
The winner of the respective WAC tournaments earns an automatic bid in the NCAA tournament.
Students interested in attending the event, which coincides with UVU’s spring break, will pay $200 for a round-trip seat on Le Bus transportation, a room at The Orleans for four nights and a pass to attend every tournament game.
“It’s all been a collaboration,” Andrews said. “President Holland himself has made it an administrative goal to help increase more student involvement with athletics.”
Athletic events on campus range from $2-4 for non-UVU students, depending on the venue and sport.
Community interaction in UVU sports is also a part of the university’s agenda, but the highest priority was improving student turnout.
Kyle is a junior at UVU, studying journalism. He works at KSL as a writer/content manager and previously wrote for weareutahjazz.com. He is originally from Colorado Springs, Colo., where most of his family resides. In his free time Kyle enjoys hiking, playing the sports he writes about, reading and obsessively following his professional teams, to which he is unwaveringly loyal. You can follow him @kyledspencer.