Success can be hard to handle
Northern Michigan University hockey is in a good place.
Saturday, the Wildcats play the Michigan Tech University Huskies for the Western Collegiate Hockey Association championship.
The two schools are arch-rivals in the sport, which makes the matchup even more intriguing apart from the fact the winner gets an automatic berth to the NCAA Division 1 men’s hockey tournament.
Individual Wildcats also are getting recognition. The WCHA just named junior Atte Tolvanen Jr. WCHA Goaltender of the Year and Coach Grant Potulny is WCHA Coach of the Year.
With that success, though, comes a desire from many diehard and casual fans to witness the big sporting event.
A sold-out Berry Events Center leaves many people out in the cold, maybe literally.
People reportedly were at the Berry as early as 6:30 a.m. Monday to get tickets.
“The demand for tickets was extraordinary,” NMU Director of Athletics Forrest Karr said in a news release.
That’s understandable, considering NMU and MTU split their 2017-18 regular season series. The Wildcats won both its games at home while Michigan Tech won both its contests in Houghton.
One had to be on the ball — or rather, the puck — to obtain tickets, which were available only at the Berry and not online.
For fans who were unable to get there in person, that probably was at least a little distressing, although tickets were set aside for the box office of the road team, in this case, MTU.
Even NMU season ticket holders had problems. According to social media posts we’ve heard about, IDs were allegedly not checked in all cases, causing tickets to be sold inappropriately.
In addition, there were reports that some people purchased more than 10 tickets.
And as to be expected, NMU Public Safety is investigating reports of ticket scalping.
There are ups and downs to a successful sports season. The ups, of course, are increased interest in the sport, more revenue and a sense of pride among the players.
The downs can be things like bustling ticket sales.
After the hockey season is over, NMU should review how sales can be better handled. Perhaps online sales should be allowed, or IDs more vigorously checked in the ticket line.
NMU can’t foresee every circumstance, and the hockey program is to be commended for getting this far. However, people want to see their Wildcats in person, especially during tournament time, and their loyalty should be rewarded as best it can.