TICKETS to the first Ateneo-La Salle game of the season will be put on sale on Wednesday, but basketball fans who aren't students of either exclusive schools better not bother to line up.
On the same day the MOA Arena announced that a limited number of tickets are being put in the market, its ticketing arm SM Tickets announced on its official Twitter account that tickets to the match will be sold exclusively to Ateneo and La Salle students.
The move, the tweet added, was made as per the directive of the UAAP host.
Here's the tweet:
As it is, only a small portion of the tickets to Ateneo-La Salle matches are usually made available to plain basketball fans, with most of the tickets handed over to the member schools for distribution.
In a separate posting on its Facebook page, SM Tickets said only 672 patron, lower box and upper box tickets will be sold at the MOA Arena's Coral ticket booth, with another 500 general admission tickets sold in a separate window.
In the same posting, SM Tickets reiterated that the tickets will only be sold to Ateneo and La Salle students and that the sale, which starts on Wednesday, will be limited to two tickets per individual.
It will be the first time the MOA Arena is hosting the Ateneo-La Salle match, which attracts throngs of fans from both schools as well as hordes of plain cage fans.
The move has earned the ire of cage fans who had planned to watch one of the biggest basketball events of the year live, with one Twitter user responding to the SM Tickets tweet by calling such move "elitist."
However, UAAP president Nilo Ocampo of National University denied that they had instructed SM Tickets to sell tickets solely to La Salle and Ateneo students, although he admitted that they gave the ticketing outfit a free hand on how to sell the tickets allotted them.
“I don’t know how they are selling [the tickets] but it’s up to them, we have no control over it,” he told Spin.ph.
Ocampo surmised that the move may be aimed at preventing the tickets from landing in the hands of scalpers. “I know they’ll limit the selling of tickets to avoid scalpers,” Ocampo said.
UAAP secretary treasurer Junel Baculi echoed Ocampo’s statement.
“A percentage of tickets are allocated to the venue, in this case MOA Arena. It’s MOA Arena’s call, not the host university,” said Baculi.
Ocampo said that other supporters like the alumni can still avail of tickets from their respective schools where the league a large bulk of the tickets.
“I don’t know how La Salle and Ateneo are selling their tickets, but what I know is that they also set aside a certain percentage for their students, alumni, faculty and employees,” said Ocampo.
In 2009, the college league also started the practice of selling Ateneo-La Salle tickets separately from the first game of the double-header to accommodate more spectators.
The first game on Saturday, pitting hosts National University againt University of Santo tomas, has been scheduled to start at 11 a.m. to allow spectators ample time to vacate the premises for the 4 p.m. match-up between the Eagles and the Archers.