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Crowd Crush Ensues Outside Purdue’s Mackey Arena as Students Wait for Ticket Giveaway

Andy Berg
Feb 8, 2023, Athletic Business

Purdue students and university officials are speaking out after a crowd crush ensued Sunday outside Mackey Arena as students waited for hours to receive men’s season basketball tickets.

Two students were treated for minor injuries in the aftermath of the incident, which took place outside Mackey ahead of a women’s basketball game. University president Mung Chiang released a statement on Twitter saying procedures for the annual event will change going forward.

“Crowd management should’ve been much better,” Chiang wrote. “Purdue Athletics will shift to electronic methods for safe and fair allocation of golden tickets in the future … crowd management training will be updated for all units and ticketing third parties: Safety First.”

Chiang also said that there will be more “Golden Tickets” for those who waited in line but did not received their season tickets for the men’s basketball season.

Gabe MacPhail, who waited in line for eight hours Sunday in hopes of receiving a golden ticket, said preparations for the giveaway felt inadequate.

“They really didn’t have any proper crowd control,” he told News 18. “There really wasn’t any line management until later when, you know, police started showing up and university security. But, it was scary at points, I think. Trying to get into the stadium [when] the doors finally opened there was a bit of a push from the end.”

Junior Bree Mild was also involved in the incident. She said she saw of friend of hers hold up a girl in line that was using crutches.

“Being at the basketball game, everyone being so distraught, no one was chanting really,” Mild said. “Everyone was just, their adrenaline was pumping after and everyone was just wanting to sit. I remember talking to a lot of my friends who walked out of the game saying ‘I just do not want to be around people right now, this is awful.’”

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