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Non-student NCAA tickets to go to alumni, season ticket holders

For two days, the residents of Carmodyville braved the elements to ensure they would get the coveted 100 NCAA basketball tickets allotted for students by the University.

However, these students will not be the only members of the Princeton community attending this week's games in Hartford, as 250 other people will also receive tickets from the University – without waiting in line all weekend.

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The marching band will receive 30 tickets, and basketball team members will receive about four tickets each, for a team total of 60, according to Inga Radice, senior associate director of athletics.

The distribution of the remaining 160 tickets is "all still in flux," Radice said, with more than 300 people vying for the opportunity to see the games. "Certainly season-ticket holders and alumni are part of that mix," she noted.

A final breakdown of the ticket recipients was expected to be decided late last night, Radice said, only three days before Princeton's first-round game against the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.

Distribution

Every school in the NCAA tournament receives 350 tickets for firstand second-round games with no restrictions on how to distribute them. Contrary to suspicions on the part of many students desperate to obtain tickets, the Development Office is not assigned an allotment of tickets to rain on big-money donors and other VIPs, said Director of Leadership Gifts Jotham Johnson '64.

"If anyone thinks for a second that we're sitting here with 250 tickets, that's wrong," he said. "I've never heard any discussion of any tickets being given away."

Given the interest in NCAA tickets expressed by "active volunteers" – including donors, University trustees and regional committee chairs – Johnson said his office has put in a request to the Athletic Department for 12 tickets to sell at regular prices.

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But, "nobody has gotten anything because we don't have any tickets yet," Johnson explained.

Director of Annual Giving William Hardt '63 declined to comment on whether the Development Office should receive a set of tickets to distribute. "It's really the province of the Athletic Department, and it should be," Hardt said.

USG president David Ascher '99 said he has spoken with Athletic Department officials about increasing the number of student tickets.

"After all, this is an undergraduate institution, and the truly hardcore fans are students," he said.

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"Princeton allocates more tickets to students than any other school which doesn't justify the low number, but puts it in perspective," Ascher added.

'Scramble for tickets'

The NCAA tournament games in Hartford have been sold out for about one month, said Tim Tolokan, the associate director of athletics at the University of Connecticut, which is organizing the opening rounds in Hartford.

The scramble for tickets was felt by David Hill '98, who said he spent much time on the phone yesterday and the night before, trying unsuccessfully to get tickets.

"I went last year down to Winston-Salem, and I've followed the team pretty closely," Hill said. "The tournament is such a great experience. I just want to be part of it again."

Despite the student demand, Radice said an expansion of the number of tickets given to students is "not (something) that I can foresee given the pressures we have for these tickets."

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