Barta just emailed me this. He's given up.
Dear Hawkeyes Fan,The University of Iowa Athletics Department is now selling reserved seat tickets assigned to seats located behind the baskets of Carver-Hawkeye Arena for $10 to all five of the remaining home games of Coach Todd Lickliter's UI men's basketball team.
The price reflects a $17 savings on tickets for the four games that will be played on Saturday or Sunday, and a $12 savings on tickets for Iowa's game against Ohio State which is scheduled for Tuesday, Mar. 3.
Tickets can be purchased over the telephone by calling 1-800-IA-HAWKS, online at hawkeyesports.com, and in person at the UI Athletics Ticket Office in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
UI Director of Athletics Gary Barta said the decision to make the offer is a by-product of several factors including, most notably, the challenging economic times for fans of the Hawkeyes, residents of the state, and the UI campus including the UI Athletics Department brought on by last spring's natural disasters and the sputtering national economy.
"We know that for many, many Iowans and long-time fans of the Hawkeyes, attending a game at Carver-Hawkeye isn't a high priority under the current circumstances or, in some cases, a possibility. However, we do want to make that option more manageable for those fans who are seeking a diversion and are willing to cheer the Hawkeyes from these seat locations," Barta said.
"We're also eager to provide fans an opportunity to show their support for Todd's young and talented team while helping us fill Carver-Hawkeye. The energy they will bring to the Arena and to our team on game night could be the difference between a win or a loss."
Barta also said the sale of the discounted tickets will help the UI Athletics Department narrow the gap between budgeted and actual revenue for the 2008-09 year. He also noted that Big Ten Conference peers Indiana and Ohio State are among the institutions responding to the current economic reality with similar ticket offers. Both athletic departments are selling $5 tickets to their home men's basketball games in the balconies of their arenas.
The offer of a $10 reserved seat ticket for the general public comes a week after current UI students were offered the opportunity to purchase tickets to the last five home games for the Hawkeyes at the discounted price of $40 - $8 per game.
Also, the UI Athletic Department will announce Thursday in an e-mail to all current UI students who purchased either a student season ticket or the five-game "March to March" ticket package that they will be allowed to bring a friend to each of the remaining home games for free.
I have an equally good idea - don't lose to Indiana.