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Opinion: Does the Gold Pass Really Work?

The short answer is yes.

The Gold Pass is a new ticketing system for BC athletics that functions as an “all-access” pass for any sporting event. There are several clear positive aspects of this new service and a new, distinctive feature is the reward points system.

Students earn points for attending games and matches, which can be returned for tickets to high-demand games or special events. This is a wholly new and perhaps strange system for Boston College students and the first real test of the reward points was seen ahead of the men’s hockey game versus Wisconsin.

Due to the elevated interest in such a competitive game, Boston College athletics deemed the game a “tier three” event, which restricted admittance to loyalty points. Tickets were released to three groups of students, all of whom possessed maximum points, over the six days preceding the game. Many Boston College students were concerned that this procedure would entail a sparsely filled student section. Certainly a “restriction” would lead to low numbers. But in fact, the game had record student attendance, the student sections overflowing with Superfans as they cheered on the No. 7 Eagles to a 9-2 victory over the No. 2 Wisconsin Badgers.

Clearly the loyalty points system did not poorly affect the Eagles at all.

However, I cannot speak from experience, as I was one who felt the negative side of the Gold Pass: a lack of points kept me from attending. As my friends anxiously anticipated this exciting game I was left feeling embittered, and a bit embarrassed, with the whole system. Then, after the game ended I found out that there were extra tickets but I never received the email that apparently had been sent to others.

But in the end I have no one to blame but myself. Students essentially earn the ability to attend high-demand games and the Gold Pass does nothing but encourage students to attend more games; it’s doing everything right. However, I do believe the Athletic Department could do a better job communicating these subtleties and disseminating more information about the games and tickets, even to those who didn’t earn enough points. There’s nothing wrong with the Gold Pass itself; but it works best when the Athletic Department effectively informs the students of what is happening.

The “restrictions” of a point-based system are implicit and inevitable. Having missed such an intense and thrilling game, I am all the more pushed to attend more games in the future so as not to be left out again. I was content accepting my fate as an “in-dorm Superfan” and was still thrilled with the result. I can’t blame the system at all and I look forward to the future benefits of the reward points.

The hockey game versus Wisconsin was the first testament to how effective the Gold Pass can be. Conte Forum was by no means lacking the excitement, support and passion expected for a BC hockey game. Students like myself who missed out on the game have learned why it is so valuable to attend as many sporting events as possible to truly earn the right to attend thrilling games.

So yes, the Gold Pass does work, and it's the loyalty and pride of Superfans that make it such. This Friday the Eagles will host the Northeastern Huskies at Conte for our second big match-up, which should further confirm the success of the Gold Pass.

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