Donations offer fans cheaper tickets, free bus rides

Deanna Stevens

Kent State students will finally get an opportunity watch a game at Quicken Loans Arena without having to worry about Ticketmaster’s handling fees.

Emerald Environment, Inc., a company that deals with environmental issues, waste management and industrial hygiene, wanted to make sure students would have an opportunity to support the Flashes in the 2007 FirstEnergy Mid-American Conference Tournament, so they donated $1,500 to cut ticket prices in half.

Students attending MAC schools are able to buy tickets for $10 with a college ID. For the first two men’s basketball tournament games, Kent State students can buy tickets for only $5.

“Ten dollars isn’t a lot of money,” said Brian Grimm, owner of Emerald Environment, Inc. “But when you are a college student and maybe you’re not working, $10 is a lot of money, so we wanted to do something to make it more affordable.”

Ticket Manager Gail Moseley said the extra savings have helped sales, but it is hard to get a good estimate because some students get tickets through Quicken Loans Arena’s ticket office.

“It does help sales when students are getting a $5 ticket,” Moseley said. “As we progress, I think (sales) will get better. As of right now, I think we’ll have about 500 plus students.”

Moseley said the donation not only cut the ticket prices in half, but has also gone toward extra efforts to make the MAC Tournament a better experience.

“They’re helping provide for buses and T-shirts,” Moseley, said. “The first 100 students will get a gold shirt so all the students will be in gold. They also provided a limo ride for a fan along with four free tickets.”

One bus will take students up to Quicken Loans Arena for free; non-students can ride a different bus for a $15 fee. It will leave at 6 p.m. from the M.A.C. Center for tomorrow’s game. More buses will continue to go the arena depending on how far the team goes in the tournament.

Sophomore education major Chris Hetzel’s “Super-K” costume won the limo ride up to tomorrow’s game along with the free tickets. The super fan contest was held during a timout at Sunday’s game against Akron.

“It was my Halloween costume originally,” Hetzel said. “I was a super sperm for Halloween. But my girlfriend painted it, and we got a cape for it.”

Grimm and Scott Hershberger, Kent State graduates in 1988 and 1987 respectively, made their first donation last year after being upset with a low turnout at the MAC Tournament two years ago.

“We were disappointed to see there were more OU students,” Grimm said. “They out- numbered Kent State students 3-1. We decided that night to do something about it.”

They gave the athletic department $1,000 last year after meeting with the Kent State ticket office and some student organizations.

Emerald Environment Inc.consults industries along with private citizens on anything to do with Occupational Safety and Health Administration or Environmental Protection Agency regulations, along with transporting and disposing of hazardous wastes from big industries.

Grimm said the organization is unique because of its consulting and transporting capabilities.

“There aren’t many consultants that do the transporting as well,” Grimm said. “We have competitors that do all consulting, and we have competitors that do all transportation, but nothing that is all under one roof.”

Giving to Kent State is not unique for Grimm and Hershberger. The company also sponsors a $500 scholarship to undergraduate geology majors.

And donations haven’t been the only connection with the university.

“When they renovated Kent Hall, we were hired by the architect office to help the outside architects to make sure everything was in accordance with OSHA or EPA regulations.”

Contact public affairs reporter Deanna Stevens at [email protected].