Jumping Through Hoops: Rethinking Hoops Mania

Hoops Mania is a highly anticipated campus event for Villanova students. 

I solved Hoops Mania. No, I didn’t find out who the performer is. However, I did figure out how we can avoid this current desperate grab for a limited number of tickets to a concert where we don’t know who is performing and in the process make Hoops Mania an event more students can enjoy.

Hoops Mania is one of the most anticipated events in the entire Villanova social calendar. Fans of sports and music come together to cheer on the beginning of the basketball season with the aid of a world-class performer. 

The tickets are acquired by lottery, with better chances given to those who have attended other sporting events in the past. It’s a fair delivery system for such a popular event. But it’s not perfect. As many Villanovans as possible should be able to partake in the fun that is Hoops Mania, the process can be optimized.

Change is necessary for Hoops Mania to continue to be the exciting and positive event it has been in the past. Acquiring a ticket is very prized and has high stakes, especially for seniors, who in recent years may have lower chances of getting tickets based on the assumption that they have gone in years past. Because of the cancellation of Hoops Mania last year due to COVID-19, some upperclassmen feel they have been cheated out of a ticket, due to bad luck and timing. 

Hoops Mania’s popularity and exclusiveness are, unfortunately, causing negative feelings of being left out that can be avoided. Ultimately, the Hoops Mania system and location are not serving the student population adequately in its current form, so changes must be made.

The solution is two-fold. First, the performer should be announced before tickets are put up for the lottery. Second, Hoops should change venues and be held in the football stadium, ultimately doubling the capacity and doubling the size of the whole event.

Announcing the performer might take away some of the suspense of Hoops, but its benefits will outweigh the negatives. By announcing the performing artist before the ticket lottery begins, the limited number of tickets available will go to people who actually want to see the artist performing and who want to see the basketball scrimmage and not people who show up and are disappointed that Doja Cat is performing and not DaBaby. (It would be on brand for her to perform though right? Doja Cat, Wildcats. You get what I’m saying). 

Announcing the performer earlier would cut down on the rampant ticket scalping that occurs in the weeks leading up to Hoops after the lottery has decided who has one of the coveted tickets. I don’t have an issue with re-selling your ticket if something comes up and you aren’t able to make Hoops even though you were planning on going, but the prices I’ve seen offered are simply astronomical, and why pay money to go into a concert blind to who will be performing? 

If performers are announced earlier, perhaps die hard fans will have a better chance of seeing their favorite artist right here at Villanova. 

This solution is the easier one, requiring primarily an administrative decision and some well-timed emails. But part of the fun of Hoops is the surprise of seeing who walks out on stage. There is a solution that keeps this suspense too and will allow Hoops to maintain that element of surprise.

If Villanova wants to retain the element of surprise while also allowing more of the student body admission to one of its best events, it should change the venue of Hoops Mania to the football stadium. 

Villanova’s home football stadium seats 12,500 spectators. This is almost double the capacity of Finneran Pavilion, where Hoops Mania is currently held, which currently has seating for 6,501 spectators. 

By switching to the football stadium, it opens up access to this event to more students and remedy the feeling that some upperclassmen have missed out on Hoops Mania due to extenuating circumstances. This will make the crowd even more exhilarating and give our basketball team an even better start to their season.

This change of venue would allow more students to attend while continuing the lottery system if necessary and keeping the performer a secret for suspense. 

Announcing the Hoops performer earlier and/or changing the venue to Villanova Stadium will allow more Villanovans to take part in this incredible event and hopefully make Hoops even better than it already is.