ROC leadership, students respond to BYU’s “record day” for ROC pass sales

ROC leadership, students respond to BYU’s “record day” for ROC pass sales

BYU’s ROC pass saga never ends.

After a week of widespread displeasure regarding changes to the ROC’s ticketing system, BYU announced Monday that it had reached its highest-ever first day sale numbers for ROC passes. According to the school’s athletic department, 6,092 passes were sold on Monday, a total which ROC representatives told Daily Universe Sports “steadily continued” throughout the day.

While the changes to the previous ROC system — such as eliminating camping and the traditional ROC line — were panned by students and fans, ROC leadership was confident sales would not be negatively affected by any potential boycott efforts, even as “#BoycottTheROC” comments appeared all over different BYU-related Instagram accounts.

“We understand that some students are frustrated by the changes,” ROC Presidents Eden Blaser and Jack Anderson told Daily Universe Sports in a joint statement. “We understand some are choosing to boycott and not purchase a pass but we are assuming based on sales that it is a very small number. Given demand for the ROC pass in the past and in anticipation for the Big 12, we did not anticipate the boycott affecting our ability to sell out of ROC passes.”

However, not everyone was impressed by the ROC’s sales accomplishment, with a number of students feeling the social media graphic detailing the sale totals was in poor taste.

“When the ROC posted about the record sales, it was very tone deaf,” said McKay Wescott, a UVU student and BYU fan now unable to buy a ROC pass as a result of the new changes. “It was a spit in the face for everyone who had concerns about the changes. It’s not a good look for an organization to brag to its own fan base during a time of conflict.”

The student behind the “Protect the ROC” Instagram page — who wished to keep their identity anonymous — shared they felt the sale numbers claimed by BYU didn’t “tell the full story,” pointing out growth in the student body as a factor for increased ROC pass purchases.

“This year’s incoming freshman class is a couple thousand students larger than ever before, so of course sales are going to increase,” the student said. “Nearly 700 students … have boycotted buying a ROC pass, resulting in $140,000 of revenue lost. (The ROC’s) posts about record breaking numbers felt like they were mocking the 3,300 students who signed a petition to change the new ROC policies.”

BYU had initially responded to ROC-targeted complaints last Friday by implementing a first-come, first-serve model for ticket acquisition to replace the originally planned randomized lottery, although ROC leadership did tell Universe Sports that there are no further plans to change the ROC pass system or offer guest passes to UVU students.

“When we switched from random distribution to first come first serve, we had many DMs, emails, and in-person conversations that expressed appreciation for that revision,” Blaser and Anderson said. “Many students have also expressed appreciation for no longer needing to wait in line for an extended period of time to get into the games.

“Although the comments still remain negative, the number has decreased, and we are getting positive responses in other forms. We think anyone with something positive to say is shying away from the comments due to the aggressive responses from the other negative commenters.”

Students expressed that there is definitely a fear factor currently at play, but not in the comment section. The school’s declaration of “record” sales has produced a panic that ROC passes could sell out at any moment, leading students to purchase their passes with increased urgency than in years past, therefore “skewing” the sales data.

“I think the reason they sent out the ‘record number’ post was to scare students into a belief that ROC passes would run out quickly and that they needed to buy them as soon as possible,” BYU student Wyatt Karras said. “Either they are misleading us by posting a ‘record’ using data that was manipulated, or we just rewarded some of the worst changes ever made to the ROC by giving them $1.2 million in revenue on the first day of sales. Both of those scenarios are embarrassing in their own way.”

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