Ohio uses court side seating late in 2022/23 season for Women’s Basketball games< < Back to
Headline: Ohio uses courtside seating late in 2022/23 season
by Bobby Gorbett
In 1972 Title IX was signed into law giving Female employees and students protection from discrimination based on sex. However, many women’s sports aren’t treated the same as male sports in the same category. At Ohio University in the eyes of some fans, Women’s Basketball and Men’s Basketball aren’t equal. For years Ohio University’s athletic department didn’t treat said sports equally, but towards the end of the 2022/23 basketball season, the Athletic Department took strides to improve.
At many women’s collegiate basketball games across the country, fans are offered general admission tickets at a flat rate of $10 for example. This means fans aren’t given designated seats, and the best seats can be obtained by fans that arrive earliest to games. Meanwhile at many men’s collegiate basketball games ticketing is done through other websites like StubHub, where seats closer to the action are more expensive.
At Ohio University, the source of inequity in ticketing lies in its premium seating options. For Men’s Basketball games donors are rewarded based on their level of donations with preferential parking spots, and premium seating. According to the Ohio University website, donors who give at least $1,000 are in the Bobcats Black category. Bobcat Black seats are courtside seats that wrap around the court.
Photo via Ohiobobcatclub.com
Up until late in the 2022-23 season, a year when the Bobcats finished last place in the Mid-American Conference, courtside seating wasn’t made available for women’s basketball games. The implementation of courtside seating for women’s basketball potentially is due to the growing nature of a sport, whose national championship was the most-watched women’s college basketball game ever.
According to Ohio student Eli Justice, the women’s basketball team’s loyal fans deserve the opportunity to sit courtside to cheer on the team,
“There are so many people that are so loyal,” Justice said. “…Women’s Basketball especially had a rough year, but they (some fans) were still filling it (the Convo) up.”
Regardless of the reasoning behind Ohio University’s implementation of courtside seating, its impacts will be positive. Depending on what Ohio University plans on doing with courtside seating, the move will likely increase attendance for Women’s Basketball games and could potentially increase attention toward the Women’s Basketball team from some of Ohio’s biggest donors.
According to Ohio student, and marketing intern for Ohio University’s Atheltic department Molly Burchard the move to courtside seating should only help the Convo’s atmosphere,
“I think it’s a great idea,” Burchard said. “…It’ll be good to increase the atmosphere and get more fans closer to the court.”
It is rare to find a University that treats its men’s and women’s basketball programs the same way, but Ohio University’s implementation of courtside seating at its women’s basketball games is a step towards equity.