UConn Grads Create Nonprofit Organization to Help Fill Empty Seats
10 Jul, 2019By: Michael Popke
We all know how demoralizing it can be to see large sections of empty seats at sporting events. But three University of Connecticut graduates living in New York City have found a way to leverage the situation.
Enter the Husky Ticket Project, which provides empty seats at the university’s Rentschler Field, XL Center and Gampel Pavilion to fans through a collaboration with local youth organizations and family centers.
“Kevin Kortsep, Kevin Solomon and Jeremy Longobardi channeled their passion for UConn — and the business acumen they learned there — to match empty seats with people, bringing positive energy to [UConn games],” writes the Hartford Courant.
In the words of Kortsep: “[W]e source donations from typically non-Connecticut-area alumni, but it could be Connecticut, too, and we buy tickets for football, a few basketball games, and we try to partner with not-for-profit youth-mentorship organizations throughout Connecticut. We try to provide tickets for at-risk youth and try to get those kids out to a game.”
According to the Courant, the Uconn trio “set a goal of raising $4,000 and buying 40 season-ticket packages for football. They generated far more, they say, and distributed more than 600 tickets to football, [and] men’s and women’s basketball games. Among the organizations benefiting so far are Nutmeg Big Brothers-Big Sisters, Hartford Youth Scholars, Hartford Catholic Worker, Governor’s Prevention Partnership, Middletown Youth Bureau, Waterbury Youth Services, Klingberg Family Centers, ConnectiKids, Wilson Gray YMCA and The Susie Foundation.”
For the 2019 -20 season, the Husky Ticket Project hopes to generate $10,000, and Solomon says the organization has secured a donor who will match other donations up to $5,000.
“We’ll see how big we can grow this,” Solomon told the Courant.