After the first year, it was clear Camp Fargo needed a makeover.
And it got one.
Camp Fargo rose to fame last year when ASU students camped outside Wells Fargo Arena, hoping to secure the best possible seats for football games. Some campers stayed all week, while others got there the night before the game.
The first full year was a disorganized mess. Social-media hype gave the impression that good student tickets were scarce, which was not the case, even today. Some complained about cuts in line. The week-long campouts were excessive.
.@SunDevilBK Camp Fargo is very flawed. We've been out here for days and yet still get cut by people last minute. so unfair.— Pierre (@Pizizzle) November 8, 2014
Camp Fargo is an absolute joke. If you let hundreds of people cut, then why do we even camp out? What's the point? #CampFargo— Tyler Strachan (@TyStrachan) November 8, 2014
So this year, ASU is limiting the overnight maximum to two days. ASU is accomplishing this by giving out permits two days before games, with the location of where those permits will be handed out kept a secret until 4 p.m. After obtaining the permit, students must begin camping by 7 p.m., or else the line moves up. Students can still camp out after this time as well, they'll just be behind the others.
The permit is one way to help reduce cutting in line. The real problem, though, is the enablers who let their friends freeload by joining them at the last second. Although the new system still doesn’t deter this, it caps a camp to six students. There are also five "camp checks" scheduled to prevent vacating the tent until it's time to get the tickets.
But all of this underplays a bigger issue: It's completely unnecessary to attend Camp Fargo if you want a ticket for an ASU football game.
"There are plenty of good seats available this year so camping is not necessary to secure a good seat," according to ASU's information page about Camp Fargo. "The best time to get your student wristband is between five and 1.5 hours before kick-off when there are minimal or no lines at all and many good seats available."
Additionally, the student-section seats are now worse than before, just marketed better under the "Double Inferno" name. ASU students were moved from the lower corner and sidelines into both end zones. This will help in games, so visiting teams are driving toward thousands of extra loud screaming students.
Notice that the Arizona Cardinals price their lower-deck end zone season tickets at $700, while the lower-deck corners are $800 and sidelines $1,125.
End zone seats are so similar that it doesn't make much sense to fight over say, the sixth row or the 16th. At least in the old system, you could be stuck with (gasp, a better overall view) in the upper deck. You could also be watching from a large range of seats, the 25-yard line (good) to the corner (not so good). The only concern now is a potential sellout in the student section, which seems unlikely as long as you show up before the game begins.
In my personal opinion, the best seats for a football game are in the upper deck by the 50-yard line. Because of how large the field is, sitting close to the field causes a lot of bad viewing angles on a majority of plays.
The seats in the student sections aren't as good as they used to be, and you won't need to stay overnight to get them.