Awaiting admission: Students camp out for the perfect seat

A sea of gold covers the stadium. The cheer of dedicated fans drowns out the announcer’s voice. The crowd roars as the ASU football team enters the field. The rush of excitement can be felt from all ends of the Wells Fargo Arena. Anyone who takes part in the madness that is college football will admit there is nothing quite similar to the experience.

As business global politics freshman Chris Jordan is all too familiar with the experience of ASU football games. Maroon and gold have been running through him since the day he was born and there was no one more enthused for the start of ASU’s football season.

“My family has had season tickets for ASU football for as long as I can remember,” Jordan says. “I’ve been going to the games just sitting on literally the opposite corner of the stadium from the student section so it’s weird. I’ve been pretending to go to this school for 18 years and now I actually do.”

Officially an ASU student, Jordan could hardly wait for the first football game of the season, Weber State vs. ASU. In addition, football tickets are included in student tuition, meaning all ASU students have the opportunity for free admission to games. Unfortunately, Jordan was not prepared for the madness of obtaining tickets.

“That was the 'lesson learned' game,” Jordan says. “I showed up an hour before the game, got my wrist band, sat in about the third to top row, didn’t have a good time and decided that was the last time I was going to do that.”

From that moment on Jordan began devising a plan of action to secure the best possible seats for the next home football game, UCLA vs. ASU.

“So I knew I not only wanted to be at that game, I wanted to be in a phenomenal seat for that game and I got a few like-minded folks that lived around me to agree to that,” Jordan says.

Photo by Pauletta Tohonnie Camp Fargo before ASU's Homecoming game. Photo by Pauletta Tohonnie

Jordan got together with a group of friends and headed out to "Camp Fargo", the student-named title for the site where students camp out days before the football games. Jordan and his friends camped out Wednesday morning to prepare for ticket distribution on Thursday morning. Criminal justice freshman Dylan Bryant was one of the students who joined Jordan in the pursuit of the perfect tickets.

“Me and my friend Chris, we kind of talked about it and I wasn’t sure if we were going to do it or not, but he called me and was like, ‘Hey I’m out here. Come and meet me whenever you want,’” Bryant says.

Jordan and his friends set up a site near the middle of the line. They brought along lawn chairs and sleeping bags. Jordan made sure to bring his laptop to keep himself occupied throughout the day. However, it was quickly made apparent the students around him were far more prepared.

“We went pretty loose the first time we did it for UCLA, I don’t think we really expected how much we would really need,” Jordan says.

Although Jordan and his friends came prepared to camp out for the UCLA game, they were still caught up in the commotion once tickets were distributed.

“We were right in the middle of all the campers, which was kind of bad because as soon as the line opened up, we got cut by probably as many people as we had ahead of us,” business legal studies freshman Patrick Barlow says.

The tickets Jordan and his friends received may have been better than the tickets for the first home football game, but the steps required to get them were far more difficult.

“I think the best way to describe it was there was one group of guys that had a pig and while we were watching the pig, we were penned in, wall to wall, people couldn’t move, packed in like animals and there’s a pig walking around on the outside doing whatever it wants,” Jordan says. “So once we got tickets for the UCLA game it was kind of like, ‘Thank God, let’s go home.’”

By the time the Stanford vs. ASU game came around, Jordan and his friends were determined to get the best seats and have a better time getting them. A group of them headed out to Camp Fargo on Tuesday to prepare for ticket distribution on Saturday morning. Since the group set out so early they were able to secure a spot near the front of the line and right near an outlet.

“We brought three power strips out, we hooked all of our computers up, we hooked up a TV and a game cube,” Jordan says. “We had a set up going and that was all stuff that we realized was a mistake not doing for the UCLA game”

Jordan also noticed a change in atmosphere towards the front of the line. Students stationed up there knew each other better and spent most of their time watching movies together or playing video games.

“Once you start making friends with the people around you then it starts becoming a little bit more fun and it’s easier because they can watch your stuff if you trust them,” says Jordan.

Compared to the previous time Jordan and his friends camped out, receiving tickets for the Stanford game resonated more of an accomplishment than relief.

“For Stanford it was more like the feeling you get after a job well done, like a lot of hard work,” says Jordan. “We’d been out there for four days and we ended up getting front-row tickets.”

Jordan and his friends will continue to camp out for future football games this season. They plan on taking all that they have learned thus far and channeling that information into the larger games.

“We’re getting out there on Sunday for Notre Dame,” says Jordan. “Nobody better get out there before us.”

Reach the writer at mchavan1@asu.edu or via Twitter @manalichavan72.


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