The message below is an important message from the MIAA concerning tickets for the State Swim and Dive Competition so there is no confusion about ticket and seat availability:
In preparation for the state swim meet this weekend, the MIAA Swim Committee needs to enlist your help in ensuring that we will be able to continue our positive relationship with venues such as MIT. Due to concerns about the facility’s seating capacity and the anticipated popularity of this event, we are asking that ONLY fans that have purchased tickets in advance go to MIT this coming weekend. The university has graciously allowed us to host our state’s most prestigious meet at a venue that provides our student-athletes with an optimal environment for fantastic competition, and we need to do everything that we can to ensure that it runs smoothly for all involved.
It is a busy time of year for everyone involved in the sporting community, and especially those that participate in aquatic sports. Universities across the country are hosting conference championships, and collegiate women’s water polo season in in full swing. We are extremely fortunate to have the use of MIT, a facility with a substantially greater spectator capacity than any high school pool in the state, for our meet, and we need to keep in mind that limited seating is a universal problem that is best dealt with in fair and positive manner. As an organization, the MIAA Swim Committee did not feel right in determining which individuals would be allowed to attend the state championship (e.g. senior parents, one parent, two parents, etc.), so it was determined that making tickets available to everyone through an online ticketing system was the fairest way to proceed. We understand how deeply each parent and fan cares about their student-athlete and that this can cause emotions to run high, but please remember that everyone had an equal opportunity to purchase tickets to this event. Please do your best to remind your coaches, athletes, parents and fans of this fact as well.
To illustrate the seriousness of the current situation, I would like to share with you excerpts from an email that we received last evening from Mr. Tim Mertz, The Director of Recreational Sports at MIT.
“I appreciate you understanding the situation and making an effort to reduce spectatorship and onsite difficulties. Earlier this past year, when MIT agreed to host this meet, it was with the understanding that the MIAA would provide additional staff to help manage the event. After today, I am very concerned that spectators aren’t getting the message. MIT simply cannot accommodate everyone and if pushed beyond capacity, to where safety and fire code are threatened, we will shut down the facility.””I also wanted to share with you that (actual parents name removed) email to MIT earlier today caused quite a bit of extra work for me, my team and other administrators within the facility. His proactive attempt at finding an alternate site for viewing actually made things worse. We are now rethinking our security, event management, and crowd control measures. In short, we are anticipating the worst case scenario. If non-ticketed parents and family members show up expecting entry, we will refuse. If spectators attempt to access the facility through any other entrances other than the Z-Center main entrance, we will remove them from the facility. We are also now doubling up on Police detail.”
We wish every sporting venue could accommodate all of our fans, but since that is not the case we are asking you, as MIAA members, to please help us make the best of this situation. The ultimate goal is to host the best swim meet possible for our student-athletes, and we do not want anything to detract from the hard work that they have put in all season. Please make sure that everyone involved with your program understands that only those with tickets should attend this weekend’s event and that there will be NO tickets available for sale at MIT. Additionally, MIAA passes will only be honored for superintendents, principals and athletic directors. If we do not abide by these policies, and we do not get the word out to our parent groups, we run the risk of being prohibited from hosting our top competitions at some of the best facilities in the area. Live streaming has been secured for the event, and while it is not the same as being there it does provide a new option for those who were unable to obtain tickets. We look forward to working with all of you to make sure that this is a positive experience for our student-athletes and that the MIAA and its members are presented in the best light possible.
Thank you in advance for you help in getting this word out to your coaches, parents and swim communities.
Chairman, MIAA Swim Committee