Well, I'll tell you who doesn't like free stuff. The guy who wrote this post you're currently — okay, hopefully still — reading.
There's nothing I can stand less at sporting events than middle-aged men dressed in business casual polo shirts and khakis while spilling their $10 beers while attempting to flag down a too-small, silk-screened T-shirt with a cell phone logo on it.
But the Western Mustangs of the OUA have taken the free stuff phenomenon one step too far. According to the Western Gazette, the school's daily newspaper, the Mustangs are offering students free admission to all Western Mustangs games on campus next season.
Free sports for allLeave it to student council to not understand athletics — or a business model.
Students will receive free admission to all Western Mustangs games on campus next year, after the Intercollegiate Athletics budget was granted a two per cent increase in funding by the University Students’ Council’s Student Services Committee.
The only events that will not be free to students are playoff and Homecoming games.
USC President Stephen Lecce is hopeful the free admittance will boost both attendance and school spirit.
Let's see. What else has been offered for free of late? Hmm. Newspapers. Music — OK, so it's been pirated. But you catch my drift. Incidentally, how are those two industries doing? One's nearly bankrupt as a whole and the other is claiming to still bleed money.
Whenever you give anything away you immediately devalue the product and create a state of apathy. Picture it:
FRESHMAN 1: Want to go to see the Mustangs play Guelph today?If you force a person to buy a ticket in advance, they're more likely to actually use the ticket.
FRESHMAN 2: Nah. We'll go next week. It's free, remember?
If you tell someone they can attend the game for free, you're telling that potential fan your team and the gameday experience is worthless. And if there's a Canadian school where that simply isn't the case, it's Western.
People watching is free of charge. So is a scenic country drive. Not even thoughts are free. A penny for your thoughts, sir?
Sports shouldn't be free — especially not at this elite a level.
Suddenly, it costs the same to watch varsity sports at Western as is it does to watch an intramural game. Nothing.
The late, great Bill Veeck just turned over in his grave. And somewhere, his son Mike wept.
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