Let's face it, it's an almost universal fan experience to be close to the game and want to get a little bit closer. Back in my formative years when Brad and I would visit Cintas, the system was as simple as it was brazen. Scout out a pair of unoccupied lower bowl seats from our perch in the second deck. Wait ten minutes or so of game play. Survey the quickest route. Wait for the usher at the top of the stairs to be distracted. Walk by him chatting with drinks or nachos in our hands, acting like we were returning from the concession stand. Executed correctly, the cheapest seat in the house could have you living like a king every time.
Of course, a lot has changed now, and the process of upgrading your seating is no exception. Xavier basketball has partnered with an app called LetsMoveDown to renovate the system by which folks can upgrade. Basically you register with the app, check in at the game, and then use it to find a better seat that you could be occupying. No downside, right? Well, except for this, as described by an April 2013 article on SportTechie:
For fans, prices are set at the beginning of the game by the team, usually around face value or at a slight discount. After the game starts, ticket prices decline based on an algorithm that factors in variables such as seat location, time remaining in the game, day of the week, home team record, away team, and supply and demand of tickets to the game. LetsMoveDown partners with each team to uniquely set the parameters of algorithm. Fans also have the option of entering an "auto-pilot" bid through the app, which sets a maximum price that fans are willing to pay for an upgrade seat in a specific location. If the fan's bid matches the price being offered for a better seat, the fan is automatically upgraded and receives his or her new tickets directly through the app.
Therein lies the rub. Where once upgrading was only limited by the unmitigated gall you may bring to the table, now it will be reduced to cold, hard cash. I would expect that ushers will have been instructed to be more vigilant in light of the fact that Xavier now expects to make money off of in-game migration.
Much like the bygone experiences of peeking through a gap in the ol' wall to watch a football game or sitting on the roofs across from Wrigley to watch the Cubs lose, this process has become both more convenient and more commercial. The upside is that you won't have to sweat out an eagle-eyed usher for the rest of the game. The downside is that you'll be paying for the privilege.