Trinity Irish Pub, Boylan Heights to limit Final Four game viewership to individuals who pay an advance entry fee

Concerns regarding overcrowding the reason for mandating ticketed entry

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Both ticket package open entry at 3 p.m., and the private events will conclude after the basketball game finishes.

Max Patten | Cavalier Daily

Fourth-year University students received an email Tuesday from Trinity Irish Pub — a popular off-Grounds bar and restaurant where many students view Virginia sports games — announcing that viewership of the men’s basketball Final Four game against Auburn on Saturday evening will be limited to viewers who are 21 and older and pay in advance for a food and drink package.

Boylan Heights — another popular off-Grounds bar and restaurant where many students and community members celebrated the men’s basketball Elite Eight win against Purdue — is also limiting viewership of the game to those who pay a $35 entry fee in advance. Boylan announced the package — which sold out all 200 tickets the same day as the release — through word of mouth and social media.

According to an email sent to Boylan Heights staff, Trinity and Boylan worked together to create the ticket packages in order to “ensure everybody gets spots to watch the game at multiple places on the Corner.”

The food and drink packages are being sold separately by the two bars, but both include a meal, two drinks and guaranteed entry to watch the game Saturday. Mike Heyer, managing owner of Trinity, wrote in an email statement to The Cavalier Daily that Trinity first offered a $35 dollar package as well as other packages that came with various accommodations such as private rooms, tables and dinner. The $35 package immediately sold out, according to Heyer, and Trinity offered a limited number of $75 tickets to fourth-year students in the email. Heyer said that Trinity had access to student emails through a “sign up for a special Fourth Year Card.”

All of these packages are geared to non-employees — with individuals buying as many as 35 tickets to watch the game at Trinity— but employees at both locations had the opportunity to get tickets for their friends or family. 

Individuals who purchase the package at Trinity will only be allowed on the second and third floors due to fire codes and safety concerns. Boylan’s maximum capacity is around 400 patrons, with Trinity also being able to accommodate several hundred patrons. 

“[The package] was done in an effort to provide the best and safest environment we could for our customers and staff,” Heyer wrote. “It allowed us to sell only within the limits of our established fire capacity. We have experienced unprecedented demand and there was no way we could accommodate the traditional ‘walk up’ guests.”  

J.R. Hadley, a Boylan representative, wrote in an email statement to The Cavalier Daily that Boylan chose to implement ticketed entry due to these shared safety concerns and to ensure an enjoyable viewing environment for patrons, several of whom come from out of town to watch games at Boylan. 

“While we’d love to have everyone in Hooville, it’s a safety concern for both our customers and employees,” Hadley said. “We limited it to just 200 tickets (fire capacity is nearly double that) to ensure a safer, more intimate night at Boylan Heights to root on the Hoos.”

Trinity and Boylan will open their doors for ticket holders at 3 p.m. Saturday, and the private events will conclude after the basketball game finishes. Re-entry will not be permitted at either location due to the concerns over crowd management. 

“We have chosen to focus on the short window during which the game is played and did not want to manage the crowds hoping for a chance to get in,” Heyer wrote in reference to the time frame during which entry is permitted. 

As of Tuesday afternoon, only 35 tickets were still available for purchase at Trinity. Individuals without a ticket will not be able to get into Trinity or Boylan Saturday to watch the Final Four game. It is unclear if this policy will stand at Trinity and Boylan if the men’s basketball team makes it to the National Championship game on April 8. 

“We will essentially be closed to the public during the game and encourage people to look for another venue for the game unless they have already purchased a ticket,” Heyer wrote.

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