Fans cry 'foul' on Memphis Madness ticketing process - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Fans cry 'foul' on Memphis Madness ticketing process

(WMC-TV) - Not only are people mad for University of Memphis tickets, but they are mad about the Memphis Madness ticket process itself.

In thirty minutes FedExForum will have a full house, as basketball fans fill the seats to watch the Tigers. The event is always a hit, but there is something new this year that fans say will take some getting used to.

A line wrapped around FedExForum for the remaining tickets to Memphis Madness.

"It's become such a big event year after year and the buzz continues to grow about Memphis Madness," said Ryan Bradley, University of Memphis Athletics.

Not all the buzz was positive this year. In the past, the free preseason celebration was open on a first come, first served basis on event night. But this year, no ticket ... no entry. It is a new system that had a lot of Tigers fans like Mona Franklin crying foul.

"It's just been a real big headache and a lot of people I've talked to, this has really turned them off," she said.

A large percentage of the free tickets were distributed at Ashley Furniture Stores, the main sponsor of the event. Some V.I.P. tickets were contingent on a furniture purchase promotion.

"And I'm like, 'Well, that's really unfair and I'm not here to buy furniture," said Franklin.

When Memphis locations ran out, Franklin had to drive to the Southaven location.

Bradley says FedExForum asked the athletic department to come up with a safer way to access the annual event.

"You don't want people rushing the door and actually getting to a point where you say, 'Whoa whoa, that's all we can take, that's all we can take,'" explained Bradley.

It is an explanation that Mona Franklin hopes will undo some of the smack talking she has been hearing off the court.

"This may not have been a good strategy and it just made my school kind of look bad because a lot of people are saying they are not going because they don't like how it was handled this year," added Franklin.

Bradley believes fans will get used to the new free ticket system. After all, 18,000 of them figured it out and it will be a packed house Friday. That in itself proves that the Tigers are generating a lot of excitement for the upcoming season in a new conference.

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