Reports of overcrowding in the student section at the University of Connecticut women’s basketball’s historic 100th consecutive win spread after students were forced to sit in aisles or stand near the back of the section because there were no open seats.
Daily Campus associate sports editor Tyler Keating attended the game and said all seats in the student section were filled when he arrived 15 minutes before the game started.
“I was forced to stand above the top row with about 25 other people in my section and the two adjacent sections. We didn’t have seats,” Keating said.
Keating said he had a general admission student ticket, but security was not present to check his ticket when he entered the student section.
“I still felt the atmosphere of the game but it was definitely uncomfortable,” Keating said.
Daily Campus sports writer Jonathan DuPont also attended the game and sat in the student section.
“The student section was electric, that’s for sure. But it was way too crowded,” DuPont said. “You couldn’t move in the bleachers if you were lucky enough to be there.”
DuPont has student season tickets and said Gampel security told him the student section was full and sent him to a corner section, where people were standing on stairs because there were no open seats.
Sixth-semester geoscience major Chris Mangini also had a student ticket to the game but was forced to stand at the top of the seats under a scoreboard.
“It was a great view but it was really uncomfortable. I had to hold (onto) the scoreboard to keep my balance,” Mangini said. “I even fell off a few times.”
Both Mangini and DuPont said as the game went on the crowd lessened, creating more standing room, but seats were still not available.
Due to the crowding, several students questioned whether UConn Athletics oversold student section tickets for the game.
However, Senior Associate Director of UConn Athletics/Communications Mike Enright said the overcrowding was due to students who purchased regular reserved tickets but sat in the student section anyway – not overselling of student tickets.
Gampel Pavilion’s security took all necessary precautions for the sold-out game, Enright said.
“Our usual security measures were in place that night. We take those issues very seriously,” Enright said in an email.
However, Enright said the enthusiasm students showed for the women’s basketball team was unparalleled.
“It was one of our largest student crowds for women’s basketball, if not the largest,” Enright said.
Schae Beaudoin is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.