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Saturday, May 08, 2021

Susan Budovsky, a UF anthropology junior, said she's never gotten tickets to a UF football or basketball game.

When she tries to call the Gator Athletic Ticket Order Request System, known as G.A.T.O.R.S., she said she has never been able to get through.

"It was so frustrating because other freshman girls seemed to be getting tickets when I had been on the phone for hours," Budovsky said.

Student Sen. Jordan Johnson, who represents District B, said he's trying to find a solution to "ticket hassles and heartaches."

Johnson said he is collaborating with the University Athletic Association to update the ticket distribution system.

Student Government has received complaints from students frustrated with the ticketing system for UF's athletic events, he said.

Johnson, who chairs the Student Senate's UAA ticket distribution committee, met with the UAA on Tuesday to encourage creating a universal ticket Web site for sporting events.

In September, the Senate's research cabinet surveyed 120 students and found most would prefer to order tickets from one Web site and print them from home, Johnson said.

More than half of the students surveyed wanted the current system for football ticket distribution removed, survey results showed.

For a universal ticketing Web site, Johnson said he'd like to implement a lottery system similar to the one used for football tickets. If students won the lottery, they would be able to log on to the Web site and reserve their tickets.

Mark Gajda, UAA assistant athletic director for ticket operations, said an online ticketing system wouldn't replace current ticketing distribution but function as a supplement.

Gajda said he hopes the online ticket distribution system will be available within the next two years.

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"We're not looking to do this tomorrow," Gajda said.

The UAA is looking into online ticketing systems used by other universities, especially in the SEC conference, Gajda said.

Gajda said the UAA has not looked at cost estimates for an online ticketing system.

The idea for an online ticketing distribution site came from requests of UF sports fans.

"It's not really a criticism," Gajda said. "It's simply a request for us to get better, and that's what we're looking to do."

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