By Julianna Cummins
When the parents of Ryerson Rams student-athletes travel to campus to watch their children play, they can expect to pay for more than parking — Ryerson also charges them admission to home games.
While Ryerson students get in to home Rams games is always free, the parents of the athletes are not given such a luxury. Instead, they pay seven dollars to watch their children play basketball, volleyball, and hockey games.
Roger Marszalek, a member of Ryerson’s men’s volleyball team, fails to see the logic in charging parents admission to home games. “I think it’s ridiculous. Parents are our biggest supporters, and they should be able to watch the games without paying anything. They provide so much for us, such as tuition and rent, and we should be able to give them something back,” he said.
Natalya Kovalchuk, mother of men’s varsity basketball player Oleh Kovalchuk, is lucky enough to pay the discounted non-Ryerson student price of five dollars because she is currently enrolled at George Brown College.
“Some parents feel very bad about this policy. Every time they come to one of the games, they forget they have to pay and already spent all their money on parking,” she said.
Glenn Taylor, the coach of the Rams men’s basketball team, said that he believes Ryerson should be looking at the ‘big picture’ when it comes to allowing parents to watch home games for free.
“I’ve got parents who drive from Ottawa to come to down for a game… and we want to charge them seven bucks a game,” he said. “These people are going to support us for a long period of time through university advancement or somewhere down the road there will be a return on our investment. Why are we penalizing them at the most difficult time financially in their life?”
Policies on ticket sales vary from school to school, but Queen’s University and the University of Western Ontario have policies that provide tickets to players to distribute to their friends and family.
“At Queen’s, each player receives two complimentary tickets per home game,” said Andy Watson, a university spokesperson.
According to Watson, it’s up to the students’ discretion to decide what they want to do with the tickets. “If students decide not to give the tickets to their parents, we will charge them at the door,” he said.
Students at the University of Western Ontario are given a set of tickets to their home games and can decide to give them to whomever they please.
Ryerson, however, gives blocks of reserved tickets to the coaches of their varsity teams, not the players. It’s up to the team’s coach to decide how the tickets are distributed, according to interim varsity sports co-ordinator Karen Hood-Deshon.
“The tickets are often given to new recruits [for the varsity teams] or potential sponsors, and the coaches can give the tickets to the parents if they want to,” she said.
“One of the reasons why we charge adults to attend games is that we have to pay our event staff,” she said.
“But it has been agreed upon in the upper administrative body of Sports and Recreation to keep games free for Ryerson students — it’s very important to them.”
Watching the Rams women’s basketball game Friday, Queen’s parent Valerie Dippel said complementary tickets should be seen as a ‘thank you’ from the university.
“Giving away tickets is a great way for universities to acknowledge how parents are supporting their students,” she said.
Parents were able to go to the Rams Power Weekend for free last weekend, but Ryerson has no plans to stop charging admission to parents in the future.