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When the Harvard Athletic Association went "big-time" and hired out the Boston Garden for a series of home basketball games, everyone benefited but the student fan. Charged sixty cents for admittance to games that were included in the price of a pre-war participation ticket, forced to travel across town and sit through whatever spectacle Garden authorities had rigged up to supplement Harvard basketball contests, the undergraduate partisan now finds himself isolated in the corners of the arena while the game goes on half-a-block and 15 pillars away.
The move from the Indoor Athletic Building to the Garden was certainly justified by the size of the student body and the following that this year's five would inherit from '45's championship team and this year's successful season. If the popularity built up by last year's performances, which took Harvard to the semi-finals at Madison Square Garden, was to be maintained without frustrating too many fans, transfer to the Garden was an obvious necessity.
But where students had no worries about attendance at Indoor, the spectator at the downtown sports palace finds himself competing with subway alumni, basketball addicts and Garden habitues for even the most mediocre seats. H.A.A. officials might well have done the undergraduate a service by exacting from Garden officials guarantees of decent seating, or at least the same kind of treatment that student fans could expect at the Cambridge floor.
Last week's battle with Holy Cross was ostensibly one of Harvard's home games. Students were offered three grades of tickets at about 40 percent of box-office price. Thus, while many of the best seats in the Garden were empty, Harvard fans witnessed the play form directly behind one of the baskets or in small groups mixed in with the rafters and lighting fixtures. If Harvard athletics is to gain local support without incurring the wrath of its best fans, some plan akin to the cheering-section arrangement should be worked out. A single block of seats, located along the side of the court and stretching from the floor to the upper sections would satisfy both spectators and Garden officials. The present scale of prices could be continued and students could enjoy a Harvard basketball game minus a few of the inconveniences of big-league Stadiumitis.
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