By Don Markus, The Baltimore Sun
8:35 PM EDT, September 28, 2011
A decision by Towson University officials to return the school's allotment of tickets to Saturday's football game at Maryland was done as a "service" to its fans, athletic director Mike Waddell said.
Waddell said the number of tickets available on the "secondary" market had reduced the value and made better seats available at a price lower than what Maryland was offering. Waddell said it had nothing to do with the location of the seats, in the corner of the second deck at Byrd Stadium. Last week, those seats were filled with a majority of West Virginia fans.
"It doesn't matter where you go, the visiting seats are always where the visiting seats are; it's their job to create a home-field advantage," Waddell said last week. "We appreciate the opportunity to play at the University of Maryland. This is the first time in 42 years that we've been given that opportunity. We hope we are able to do it again."
Waddell said the time of the 3:30 p.m. kickoff of Saturday's game was not announced until early last week, making it difficult for some Towson fans to plan. That Maryland gives some of its season-ticket holders free tickets to some games, including the Towson matchup, also played a factor in reducing the market value, according to Waddell. Tickets that Maryland was trying to sell for $27 were available for as little as $3 on outlets such as StubHub.
"I understand where they are. It's the same place we were at Cincinnati, so I've done a lot of the same things," said Waddell, who came to Towson last fall from the Big East school. "When you have all those free tickets go on the market, we have people coming back to us saying, 'Why aren't a lot of tickets being sold?' Was it the game time or was it that they were getting free tickets from somebody else?"
Waddell said Maryland officials were notified of Towson's decision to return the tickets.
"It's not a contentious thing," he said. "We just said, 'If you want to buy tickets in this section, you can buy tickets from the University of Maryland athletic ticket office, but just to let you know, there are a lot of tickets out on the secondary market.' People have made more of this than there really is. There's nothing that they did that was wrong in any way, and I don't think it was wrong of us to communicate with our people."
Maryland athletic department officials said it was Towson's right to return the tickets and offered no further comment.
Baltimore Sun reporter Jeff Barker contributed to this article.
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