Sports Outside the Beltway

Kansas Charges Babies to Watch Games

The University of Kansas will not let babies attend games with their parents unless they have their own ticket.

When Kansas football fans Owen and Lisa Foust headed to the Jayhawks’ season opener last Saturday, they bundled up 3-month-old daughter Kate to go along. But when they presented their tickets at the gate, they were told they would need an additional $35 ticket for Kate. “I just thought it was pretty tacky,” Owen Foust said. “It’s just a grab for money.”

Kansas actually began enforcing the babies-pay policy three or four years ago, said Kansas associate athletic director Jim Marchiony. “Everybody needs a ticket regardless of age,” Marchiony said. “The very small children come with backpacks and bottles and toys. … We’ve received numerous complaints over the years from people who are sitting next to those people — enough for us to know that even those sized children need the space.” And, Marchiony said, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has recommended that organizations require tickets for everyone at large events as a way to keep track of numbers.

The real question is why anyone would pay to see the University of Kansas play football to begin with.

In all fairness, KU is not the only team doing this.

Kate — and any child under 3 — would be able to get in free for a Kansas City Chiefs game. “It’s a question of the actual seat,” said Chiefs spokesman Bob Moore. “If there’s no one sitting in the seat, then there’s no reason to sell the seat.” Moore said he believed most professional football teams have the same policy.

Fans under 2 also can get in free to see the Missouri Tigers or Kansas State Wildcats play, and those under 1 don’t pay for tickets at Iowa State. “We just felt like a 1-year-old doesn’t take up that much room,” said Matt Johnson, director of ticket operations at Iowa State. “We get calls all the time saying: ‘Thanks for not making our 2-month-old pay.”‘

But Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas all charge for babies who are brought to games. “Our stadium is sold out on a season-ticket basis with a long waiting list,” said Keith Mann, spokesman at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “Everyone has to have a ticket.” Making exceptions for babies “leads to too much decision-making at the gate,” said Kenny Mossman, athletic department spokesman at Oklahoma.

This is pretty funny, though:

The Fousts say the policy won’t dampen their Kansas spirit. “Kate will probably go to some games,” Owen Foust said. “And we certainly want Kate to be a KU graduate someday.”

That’s what a Kansas education will do for you, I guess . . .

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Apparently KU caught Verne Troyer trying to sneak into a game, hence the change in policy…

Posted by Mark | September 7, 2006 | 04:02 pm | Permalink

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