Students will have to wake up early this year if they want to attend the Wisconsin football games.[/media-credit]

The University of Wisconsin Athletic Department will once again be changing its ticket policy for the upcoming 2009-10 football season.

According to a news release from the Athletic Department Monday night, the new policy will be based on two different sales times, both on a first-come, first-served basis. The first sales period will take place on June 22 at 8:30 a.m. and will be available exclusively to undergraduates, including incoming freshmen.

The next wave of sales will take place on July 6 and will be available exclusively for graduate and professional students. This group also includes incoming graduate students. The Athletic Department has allotted 1,700 tickets for this group based on previous records of how many students from this category have traditionally purchased student football tickets.

If there are any remaining tickets from the allotted number given to graduate students after 4:30 p.m. on July 10, both undergraduate and graduate students will be able to purchase these tickets starting July 13 at 8:30 a.m.

According to the release, the Athletic Department changed the policy based on feedback from students through personal communication with students on campus, an online survey given to student ticketholders throughout the 2008 season and a postseason focus group.

Members of the Associated Students of Madison Shared Governance Committee were involved in the focus groups trying to get a better perspective on students’ views.

Logan Hulick, a Shared Governance Committee member who also works with the Athletic Department, said between 60 and 100 people were asked to participate in the focus groups. The people who received these emails were members of ASM, student media and concerned students. Of this group, about 25 people attended.

“It was everywhere from seniors to freshmen,” Hulick said. “I don’t know how even it was, but it was definitely from both, and graduate students were there.”

According to both Hulick and Jake McGee, also a member of the Shared Governance Committee, the consensus of the group was to eliminate the lottery system and change it to a first-come, first-served basis regardless of class standing.

“The freshmen are equally excited, and they are students too,” McGee said. “It’s hard to throw out judgments saying the freshmen might be later, and the seniors might be earlier.”

While the purchasing process for student tickets may have changed, the distribution system has not. Those who receive tickets will still get vouchers for their seats as they have in years past and will be able to redeem them at the stadium gates on game day.

The Badgers will hold seven home games this coming year, including a night-game opener against Northern Illinois on Sept. 5.

Senior Associate Athletic Director for External Relations Vince Sweeney could not be reached for comment as of press time.