After holding off for as long as possible, the administration finally allowed for tickets for Ben Shapiro’s Sept. 14th speech at UC Berkeley to be released to the public.
Tickets went on sale just before 10:30 p.m. PST on Thursday. Within minutes, the UC Berkeley ticketing site was driven offline due to heavy traffic, and tickets sold out almost within 45 minutes.
The ticket sales came with a few restrictions, including requiring photo identification to enter the event, a limit of one ticket per order, a closure of Zellerbach Hall’s balconies, and no Will Call tickets on the day of the lecture.
The release came after intense stonewalling by university officials, including an original refusal to accommodate Shapiro on the desired date, cutting the audience size for Shapiro’s event in half to 1,020 by preventing access to the Zellerbach Hall’s balconies and forcing the Berkeley College Republicans to pay a $15,000 security fee (which was lowered to a little under $9,200 due to the cut in attendance).
Berkeley will allow the College Republicans a chance to appeal the attendance cut as well, giving the group an opportunity to restore the attendance in Zellerbach to full capacity, as originally planned. However, even if the venue can be restored to a full capacity setting (1,978), it still will not be able to retain the 2,500+ individuals who hope to attend. It is not clear how ticketing will be handled should these additional seats become available.