The New York Times is reporting the University of Alabama has started tracking its students, via an app on their phones, who are attending home football games. The app can let the university know where the students are in the stadium during game day to determine if they remain at the game into the fourth quarter or if they leave early.
The students aren’t technically punished for leaving early, but their account could take a points-hit in the rewards program that’s part of the app.
From the Times:
The Tide Loyalty Points program works like this: Students, who typically pay about $10 for home tickets, download the app and earn 100 points for attending a home game and an additional 250 for staying until the fourth quarter. Those points augment ones they garner mostly from progress they have made toward their degrees — 100 points per credit hour. (A regular load would be 15 credits per semester, or 1,500 points.)
The more points a student has, the better chance they have at access to tickets to the SEC championship game and College Football Playoffs. Thus, if a student stays at a home game into the fourth quarter, they will improve their chances of scoring tickets to those prime events.
As far as privacy concerns go,the Times writes that “students who download the Tide Loyalty Points app will be tracked only inside the stadium, athletic director Greg Byrne said, and they can close the app — or delete it — once they leave the stadium.” The students also have the choice to not download the app at all.
The student sections at Bryant-Denny, which has an official capacity of 101,821, can seat some 17,000 individuals.