BY CORY WRIGHT
Ryerson has implemented a new parent pass to alleviate the cost of attending Rams games for parents of athletes.
Introduced this fall, the idea behind the passes is to increase attendance at home games, which will give the athletes more support and hopefully translate into more wins.
“The way I see it is that home-ice should be an advantage,” said athletic director Ivan Joseph.
It’s no secret that the Rams have trouble attracting fans, as competing against the Toronto nightlife is no easy battle. The fact that most games are played within a Friday to Saturday bracket puts games in competition with night clubs. But having parents attend pumps up some athletes.
“I love having my parents there,” said Haley Wolfenden, a second-year women’s volleyball player. “Maybe they’ll come to more games now.”
Cathy Saar, mother of Leah Saar, a second-year volleyball player, notes that the girls play better with more fans in the stands, and that she thinks it’s a good initiative.
“They need a good support system,” said Saar. “I think this will create good school spirit and more athletes will want to come to the school.”
It is also an effort to give back to the parents who are already paying tuition and other expenses.
“Parents are picking up a large tab already,” said Joseph. “It’s tough on an urban campus as the parents have to pay for things like parking. By the time mom and dad drive down, pay for parking and tickets, it’s almost a $50 night.”
There was a misconception that the passes were going to pay for parents’ hotel stays and even transportation, which Joseph said is not true. “Whatever we do is to benefit students. Us covering the parents’ hotel would not help the students,” said Joseph.
Ryerson isn’t the only school to give out the passes. Brett Penrose, a first-year volleyball player, said that his parents have passes for his brother’s hockey team at York University.
The passes cover all reuglar-season home games, but won’t extend to the OUA playoffs, as the OUA controls their own ticket prices.
The women’s volleyball team lost its last two games after serving a two-game suspension for drinking in the dressing room.
Their next game is Nov. 20 at RMC.