There have been a lot of angry students walking around BYU’s campus in Provo this week.

That’s because the school’s official student section, named the ROC (Roar of Cougars), has made changes in conjunction with the BYU athletic department and tickets office to the way students can purchase and use all-sports passes for the upcoming 2023-24 athletic season, BYU’s first in the Big 12.

“We will not be going back to a physical line or camping format due to significant safety concerns that have arisen in past years.” — BYU news release on new process for students’ all-sports passes

Most notably, the ROC passes that will go on sale next Monday will cost students $200, up $50 from last year’s price.

Non-BYU student guest passes will no longer be available, but non-transferrable spouse passes can be purchased for $275.

But that’s not the only change that has some students outraged. The school will no longer allow students to camp overnight or form the traditional “ROC Line” to get priority seating for football games at LaVell Edwards Stadium and basketball games at the Marriott Center.

Instead, the school announced that it has “come up with a “first-come, first-served” digital alternative to that practice, in the interest of student safety, it said in a school news release posted online Wednesday night.

“We will not be going back to a physical line or camping format due to significant safety concerns that have arisen in past years,” the statement said. “We have attempted to implement mitigating factors to address the safety concerns in the past, but due to the sheer size and volume of fans in the line, for the safety of all, we need to move to a new format.”

BYU’s ROC Board initially announced a “randomized lottery to determine entry times” on Tuesday, according to the Daily Universe, so students could “soak up the pregame festivities” such as the tailgating and the Cougar Walk held on the West side of the football stadium.

But the announcement of tweaks to the first-come, first-served digital queue system were announced Wednesday night “after listening to feedback and exploring options.”

The news release said the new system “will still not guarantee anyone front-row tickets, but it will produce the opportunity for those who request earliest the best chance at the best seats.”

“Simply put, Cougar Nation was furious,” wrote Daily Universe sportswriter Jackson Payne, a Deseret News contributor.

View Comments

Many took to Twitter and other social media sites to express their outrage. According to a Daily Universe story published midday Wednesday, a petition protesting the changes and asking for a new system had gathered more than 1,000 signatures in fewer than three hours and had “nearly 3,000” at the time of publication.

It was also stated Tuesday that buying a ROC pass would not automatically guarantee admission for students. That also caused a mild firestorm.

In the release Wednesday night, BYU said that it has been “extremely rare” for ROC pass holders to be turned away from entry into LaVell Edwards Stadium due to “maximum capacity” of the ROC section being met.

“We do not anticipate this changing,” the release noted.

Join the Conversation
Looking for comments?
Find comments in their new home! Click the buttons at the top or within the article to view them — or use the button below for quick access.