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Athletics Holds Annual Season Ticket Holder Celebration

By Nathan P. Press and Samuel E. Stone, Crimson Staff Writers

Amid a string of successful seasons for Harvard football, the athletic department counts 1,665 football season ticket holders. On Saturday, more than 900 of them packed the Gordon Indoor Track for an appreciation event that is one of the department’s main ticket holder engagement initiatives.

The event, which included a luncheon and raffle, preceded the Crimson’s afternoon game against Penn and drew alumni as far removed from their college days as Paul I. Lee ’46, who will be heading to New Haven for his 73rd Harvard-Yale game this fall.

“This is tremendously important for both our season ticket holders and our department,” said Nick Majocha, an assistant director of athletics who runs the ticketing office. Majocha, who has organized the event annually since 2012, said the luncheon is meant to build community and encourage alums’ continued involvement with Harvard football.

“We have such a diverse group of people in this community, so to be able to have an event that lets them congregate...is really important to giving back and to maintaining that strong season ticket holder base,” Majocha said.

Between performances by the band and cheerleaders, a raffle with items like signed helmets, and the luncheon, attendees commended the department’s ticket holder outreach efforts.

“Having an event like this really helps build up the enthusiasm of the season ticket holders, brings them together to say, ‘Oh, I didn’t know you’re a season ticket holder,”’ said David Dearborn ’59, a season ticket holder since 1964. “I have half a dozen classmates who sit in different spots around the stadium.”

Some season ticket holders pointed out that the event also allows longtime supporters of Harvard football a unique opportunity to spend time together outside of the stadium.

“This is a relatively new event, but it’s a nice thing for the athletic department to do to recognize those who take out a season ticket,” said Warren “Renny” M. Little ’55. “You see a lot of old jocks you don’t necessarily see in other places.”

Some of the longest-standing football season ticket holders found the event representative of the department’s efforts on their behalf.

John “Jack” P. Hoag Jr. ’54, who counts 48 years as a season ticket holder along with two of his Winthrop roommates, said of Majocha’s office, “They will bend over backwards for people who have been coming for a long time.”

Hoag and his roommates, who also hold men’s hockey season tickets, recalled how after the Bright-Landry Hockey Center seating was swapped before this season, their usual seats wound up in the visitor’s side. “These guys broke their backs after the season started to get us back to where we wanted to be,” Hoag’s roommate Edward C. Bursk Jr. ’54 said.

For the younger alumni in attendance, Majocha said of the event, “It’s an opportunity for some of our new season ticket holders to meet these longtime season ticket holders and feel like part of this club.”

Others found some room for improvement. “I think something like this should be done earlier in the season rather than at the end of the season,” said Eduardo Ramirez, a Crimson football and men’s basketball season ticket holder. “I think it would promote more of a spirit at the beginning, [so] you look forward to a season.”

Over the four years, the fraction of football season ticket holders in attendance has grown from 28 percent to 55 percent.

“It’s an important way to say thank you to our most dedicated supporters,” said Majocha.

—Staff writer Nathan P. Press can be reached at nathan.press@thecrimson.com.

—Staff writer Samuel E. Stone can be reached at samuel.stone@thecrimson.com.

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