Gov. Bentley responds to questions about football ticket deals - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Gov. Bentley responds to questions about football ticket deals

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Bentley buys additional tickets through the Tide Pride membership service. Bentley buys additional tickets through the Tide Pride membership service.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Governor Robert Bentley said Alabama officials do need to be mindful about how it looks when they get Alabama football tickets for a price few other people can, as WAFF previously reported (http://bit.ly/1bcF5jd).

Bentley is one of dozens of public officials across the state to whom UA offers a chance to buy Crimson Tide tickets for the price printed.

Normally, anybody who doesn't work at or go to school at UA must buy the tickets through the school's ‘Tide Booster' program, and pay a hefty membership fee to belong, or pay big markups on websites like StubHub or eBay.

Some fans said that's unfair special treatment for influential officials.

When it comes to getting special prices on tickets to Crimson Tide games, Gov. Bentley said he works to keep it on the up-and-up. "I don't want the appearance that I'm getting anything special," he said.

Bentley said he gives his special-offer tickets to his staff to buy at face value if they would be involved in some kind of helpful state business.

"I ask them, is this a trip that is related to your job? Is it a trip that will bring jobs to Alabama? And if it is, then you may go and you may use one of the tickets that I have access to, but you still have to pay face value for it. I make my staff members pay for those," Bentley said.

To other lawmakers, he said to think of how it looks.

"I think people have to be very careful and not give the appearance that they're getting anything, even though they do pay full face value for them," Bentley said.

Bentley also said there are a lot of other people besides elected officials who get the tickets for face value, such as University employees, and some who even get the tickets for free.

Besides the tickets he gets through the special deal for public officials, Bentley also buys tickets for himself through his own membership in Tide Pride, which he pays for. He said he plans to keep doing so long after he leaves office.

"I go to homecoming at Auburn. I do sit in the president's box. I crown the homecoming queen and that's always my job. And I do that at Alabama also, but I sit in my own seat," he said.

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