- Associated Press - Friday, October 3, 2014

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The University of Minnesota on Friday said it will reverse its new sports ticket bundling practice for students next year, after growing criticism that included a complaint from Minnesota’s governor.

In a statement Friday, the athletics department said it has re-evaluated the policy in response to feedback “from a small group of students.” Starting in the 2015-2016 school year, the university said it will return to making single-sport season tickets available to students at the same time as multi-sport season tickets.

The Student Senate passed a measure Thursday opposing the new policy, in which bundles of tickets for certain sports were available over the summer but single-sport tickets were not.

The university said it offered discounted multiple-sport season ticket packages for the 2014-15 school year “to make it possible for our most engaged students to attend the sporting events they desired at a discounted price.”

But many students said the bundles were more than they could afford. And students who were hoping to buy Gopher hockey tickets unbundled were out of luck because those who bought bundles had already snapped them up. The university said the sellout of men’s season hockey tickets for students “happens most years.”

Gov. Mark Dayton weighed in Friday after learning of the policy. He told university President Eric Kaler he was “appalled” when he heard about the bundling policy and urged him to discontinue it.

Dayton called Kaler on Friday to express his disappointment and followed up with a letter. The governor told Kaler the Legislature provided additional funding to hold down student tuition and that university officials should not “invent other ways” to increase students’ costs.

“I’m glad they followed my urging to discontinue this ill-considered scheme,” Dayton said Friday after the university reconsidered its policy.

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