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Office of General Counsel Policies & Guidelines

University Athletic Tickets : B-043

Policy/Guideline Area

Business and Finance Guidelines

Applicable Divisions



The purpose of this guideline is to establish the process and procedures for university athletic tickets at institutions governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.


  1. General Statement
    1. Gate receipts from athletic events are an important source of revenue for university intercollegiate athletic programs. Admission charges are a recognized form of user-fees, necessary to generate funds for program operations, which state appropriations and student fees cannot and should not totally support. To ensure proper management of ticket sales, it is essential that each university implement procedures for effective control of ticket distribution and accounting for gate receipts.
    2. The following guideline establishes basic provisions regarding the accountability for tickets for athletic events, pursuant to which each university shall develop detailed operating procedures.
  2. General Ticket Procedures
    1. The price of tickets for athletic events should be recommended by the athletic director and approved by the president or designee prior to the printing of the tickets.
      1. A ticket should be assigned to each seat available for occupancy, except in designated student areas, if applicable.
      2. The price of tickets should take into account conference requirements, if applicable.
    2. Procedures for securing and distributing tickets should follow sound business practices, with proper documentation, reconciliation, and control measures.
    3. The appropriate athletic revenue account must receive credit for the value of tickets issued.
    4. All persons admitted to an athletic event for which there is an admissions charge must present a valid ticket, unless otherwise provided for below.
    5. A detailed plan should be developed and approved by the president, or his or her designee, for enforcing admissions control, seat assignment, and security.
  3. Complimentary Tickets
    1. Each president or designee may authorize complimentary tickets.
      1. A listing of complimentary tickets should be prepared, approved by the president or designee prior to each event, and filed for audit purposes.
      2. The listing should contain the name of the individual who will receive the ticket or the specified group of individuals being approved (such as "high school recruits"), the account to which the cost of the ticket will be charged, the cost, and the purpose of issuing the ticket.
    2. The individual authorized to receive complimentary tickets must acknowledge receipt of the ticket(s) by signing for them.
      1. Complimentary tickets may be mailed to the receiving party without securing a written acknowledgement only when mailing is the reasonable and practical distribution method; adequate file documentation and notations shall be maintained on all complimentary tickets mailed.
    3. Complimentary tickets designated for use by student athletes may be distributed as provided by NCAA and conference policy and provisions.
    4. All complimentary tickets issued will be charged to the account indicated on the listing required by III.A.2 above.
  4. Student Tickets
    1. Procedures should be established for admitting students to athletic events.
      1. Tickets may be issued to students, or an area may be designated for students only, which is accessed by a designated student entrance, and student identification is required for admission.
      2. If tickets are issued to students, a complete accounting of the seat assignments for each event should be documented for audit purposes.
  5. Group Tickets
    1. Each university may develop group promotional packages for admission to athletic events, subject to approval of the president or his or her designee prior to implementation.
  6. Special Passes
    1. Special passes issued by the university for concession workers, game officials, the press, security officials assigned to the event, participating team coaches, and other workers assigned to the event must be controlled. Each institution should establish reasonable procedures appropriate to the event.
    2. Where facilities for athletic events are contracted, the assignment of special passes to facility workers should be controlled through specific contract provisions.
  7. Other
    1. Admission to the president's box may be handled through either complimentary tickets or special passes at the discretion of the president, subject to procedures set-forth above.
    2. Ticket arrangements for student athletes from visiting teams should be controlled through specific contract provisions.
  8. Exceptions

A. Exceptions to these guidelines are subject to prior approval by the Chancellor based upon written justification by the president. 


June 26, 1981 TBR meeting; May 15, 1990 Presidents Meeting; August 9, 1994 Presidents Meeting; May 15, 2007 Presidents Meeting; November 11, 2014 Presidents Meeting.


Mickey Sheen