Ask any Penn basketball player about the highly anticipated Harvard game next Friday night and they'll tell you one thing: We're focused on Yale.
But with the Quakers on the Connecticut-Rhode Island road swing this weekend, Penn Athletics is gearing up for what may (depending on this weekend's results) be the biggest Ivy game Penn has played in some time at the Palestra. If all goes according to the Quakers' plan, the Cathedral will host the meeting of two Ivy-unbeatens, one of which has sat in the ESPN Top-25 for some time now. And we all remember the last time a ranked Ivy team showed up at the Palestra.
So after a successful bid to get students to come out to see Penn-Princeton last Monday, Penn Athletics is looking to once again pack the Palestra for the Crimson. This email was sent out this morning advertising free tickets to students:
This is a great idea — raise some money for a good cause, inspire a little class rivalry and school spirit & get students down to the Palestra for a massively important game. But it's hard not to be reminded of Athletic Director Steve Bilsky's comments in the DP earlier this week about the necessity for giving tickets a price:
DP: Have you thought about getting rid of the price for student basketball tickets?
A lot of people have asked us that. I happen to think … that having a price puts value on it and actually improves attendance, rather than hurts it.
Anecdotally, if you’re in your dorm and it’s February and it’s a miserable night and all you have to do is walk in for free, you might not go.
Obviously, this promotion is not quite the scenario that Bilsky paints in the quote above, but Penn is giving away free student tickets — if only for one game. The Athletic Department has been successful in recent weeks with promoting the basketball program. We'll see how this experiment works out on Friday the 10th. Until then, there are still two games to be played.