I can't believe the AD didn't throw more of a hissy-fit about the State schedule change, cause well, this.
spoiler alert: i linked this
If you aren't already, get used to this, and I wouldn't blame the students.
In news that will come as a shock to many, charging students $295 for a home schedule in which the best game is against Penn State and the race for second is between Indiana, Minnesota, and Maryland doesn't go so well—especially a year removed from alienating much of the student fanbase with an unpopular, poorly implemented, and subsequently scrapped general admissions plan.
The deadline for renewing student tickets came and went on Tuesday, and in years past there's never, to my knowledge, been a need to extend the deadline. Student/poster bdsisme noted an email went out today urging some students to renew their tickets for the fifth time—in the three years prior, according to him, there'd been just four combined emails of that nature, which is consistent with how it was when I was in school ('06-'10)—and offering an extension to "Michigan Football SuperFans":
Thank you for being a Michigan Football SuperFan! According to our scanned data, you attended 5 or more home football games on-time last season (prior to or at kickoff). As a result, you have been granted SuperFan priority for the 2014 season.
Earlier this week (Tuesday, April 15) was the deadline to renew your season tickets for the 2014 season. However, since you have proven your loyalty this past season, we would like to offer a one-time extension of the season ticket renewal deadline in order for you to continue your devotion as a Michigan Football Superfan.
We know you are busy closing out the Spring semester and may have questions regarding the new seating policy for the 2014 season. By extending the renewal deadline to Friday, April 25, we hope you are now able to guarantee your seat as a Michigan Football Student Season Ticket Holder.
How magnanimous of them.
I can't believe the AD didn't throw more of a hissy-fit about the State schedule change, cause well, this.
This is all about the schedule. Dave Brandon should have fought to keep either Ohio or Sparty on the schedule every year. This season should have included ND and Sparty at home. Instead, we get Utah and Maryland. Tickets have lost value, why would students want to buy them? StubHub will be jammed with cheap tickets to every home game. That's how I'll buy my tickets this season.
We love to talk about all these fringe issues like "gameday experience" and seating policies and quality of schedule, but I bet 90% of the reason tickets are not selling well is that we are not very good at football. Another 5% is that our style of play is horrific to watch, and maybe, maybe the remaining 5% can be accounted for by the combination all of these fringe issues. But the reality is, no one gives two shits about any of this if we go 10-2 last year. Just win, baby.
This is the definition of fairweather fandom.
I used to think that way but not anymore.
Going 11-2 in 2011 with a Sugar Bowl victory didnt make a difference in the 2 B1G games I went to as the student section was half empty for the Minnesota game (which was Homecoming) and the Purdue game. Nebraska was ranked that year and I was shocked when I saw how many empty seats there were.
Those problems remained coming off that 11-2 season in 2012. A meh home schedule that year but we still went 6-0 at home with some classic games.
The reality is it doesn't matter how good or bad the product on the field is. The only sold out games are always going to be the rivalry ones or a top ten conference opponent. Students could care less about all the rest. I don't think they see any difference between a 8-4 Purdue team and a 2-10 Akron team. The prices are ridiculous but I don't think it would any different if they were cheaper.
Expanding the student section before the 2011 season seems like the biggest epic fail now.
it's a separate issue than why aren't students renewing tickets. But the reason the student section has often been less than full is, IMO, directly attributable to the validation requirement.
If a random guy wants to buy a ticket to a random crappy game such as Akron, in the past his cheapest bet would be to buy one from a student. Sure, he'd have to stand in the student section, but the ticket would be cheap. When I first graduated I went to almost every game by buying a student ticket (because they were by far the cheapest) and sitting with friends who were still in school. Can't do that anymore . . . unless you want to pay the validation fee.
But now, with the validation requirement, the student tickets are now much more expensive to buy on the secondary market because the random guy has to pay the validation fee. In contrast, he could buy my tickets in section 19 for whatever I want to sell them for. So for crappy games (and even not so crappy games), the student section is less than full because often the validation fee alone is far more than what a random person would pay on the secondary market for such games.
Well said sir. No need for a validation fee at all.
All good points. It's hard to argue with your anecdotal reference to the 2012 season, but I'm skeptical that long term, "it doesn't matter how good or bad the product on the field is." Look at the basketball team--those stands were empty during the Amaker years and now Crisler sells out. The schedule quality was the same then as it is now. Crisler has a much better atmoshphere now, but I don't think people skipped hoops tickets in the mid-2000s because of that--they skipped them (me included) beacuse we stunk up the joint.
Granted, I'm sure Michigan football, given its history, is less vulnerable to these types of fluctuations, but I don't think it is impervious to them.
The issue is not of people showing up, the issue is of people not buying tickets. I'll give you that we had attendance issues after our successful 2011 season, but they were still buying tickets (just not showing up).
As the previous poster said, this comes down to performance on the field, plain and simple. Its abysmal, it truly is. And this is not a Hoke vs. RR thing. Its a decade long pattern of coaching eptitude, losing to our rivals, and being an also-ran that has gotten us to this point.
Attendance and $. It’s ok to constructively criticize. There are too many people out there with ego's iwrapped up in sports. All the whining and negative popints help zero. Promote the team. Do you really thinking ripping the program in a public forum helps? Really?
I agree with you, and I'm enough of an addict to Michigan football that I'll always be watching and attending, regardless of record (I actually enjoyed the 2008 3-9 campaign more than many of our more successful ones). I was simply pointing out that I think ticket sales, at least long-term, almost entirely go with how well the team is doing, and we're not doing that well lately, which is why it's hard to sell student tickets. I think all this other stuff is completely secondary to that.
EDIT: Thought you were responding to me--disregard.
I renewed my season tickets this year with little thought. I support my alma mater regardless of coach/AD/play on the field because I support the hard work of the players and what the University of Michigan stands for. The Hoke's and Brandon's of the world will come and go, but the Michigan name will stay strong. And as Bo said, no one is above the team (or the University).
It would take serious financial event or a Penn State like scandal for me to think twice about renewing my tickets. But that's just me. I totally understand why others would think twice and not renew (student or otherwise) and I wouldn't fault them for that.
Do you know how much it was expanded?
It seems to me that the student attendance issues are are at least partially explained by an imbalance of supply and demand. If you have people buying tickets but not showing up, then they don't really demand the product. And now it appears we're not even getting enough students to buy the tickets in the first place.
The proper solution last season was obvious and simple: cut back the size of the student section. It wouldn't have required the disastrous GA seating clusterfuck; we could have maintained the existing policies on seat allocation and simply pruned back the supply of student tickets to more closely match the numbers of students who actually want to be at the game badly enough to show up at kickoff.
This may not solve or address all of the issues relating to game day experience, but business fundamentals aren't complicated. If you have more product than willing customers, you have three options: 1. Reduce the price; 2. Improve/enhance the quality (in this case scheduling); 3. Reduce the supply. So far, the Athletic Department has done none of these.
hashtags, rok muzak, wedding, promos, & skywriting all don't fall under category 2?
Seriously, Dave Brandon reminds me of the villian Two-Face. He can't decide if he wants a boring strerile NFL-like atmosphere, or tastless minor league baseball gimmicks . . . so he's trying both at the same time.
I should have mentioned that there is a fourth option that sales & marketing numbskulls normally think is a sound solution to a supply/demand imbalance: Sell it harder! Advertising! Email blasts! Promotional gimmicks! Branding!
All this is unlikely to move the needle much if there are basic problems with price or quality, but the marketing folks are gonna do what they do regardless.
Maybe half the reason is becaue the team isn't very but I'd argue that at least 50% of the reason is price. Generally speaking, students are drawn to cheap fun.
With all this crap about arriving before kick-off or being penalized for not being a "superfan"...frankly the whole experience sounds like an expensive pain-in-the-ass these days.
And although not quite the same, I remember back when the Detroit Tigers sucked, they had bleachers tickets for about $4/game. Lots of last-minute walk ups in the ticket lines for those. Rest of the stadium may have been near empty and the team may have sucked but the bleachers were often full and rocking.
I chose not to buy tickets because I simply don't have $500 to spend on sporting tix (I did buy basketball tickets). Additionally, I wasn't enrolled last year so I didn't have season tickets this year and thus couldn't sit with my friends in the Superfan section. So I'll probably buy tickets to individual games, maybe even most of them, and I'll probably come out spending less than $295 for everything.
I think that this is actually a factor that may be getting overlooked. Students (especially those who live out of state) can have short term memories when it comes to the school's sports teams. I bet a ton of students would prefer buying basketball season tickets because that's the cool thing to do on campus right now. Nobody wants to spend money on a loser (or 7-6)
I wonder how long before - if this current trend continues - they start selling season tickets for both sports in a package to piggyback basketball's popularity.
When I was a student I don't remember having to pay for season tickets for football, basketball and hockey all before leaving for the summer.
I believe we only had to purchase football in the spring and then the hockey and basketball season tickets were to be purchased by the 3rd weekend in September in the fall.
This might be a part of the problem as it was much easier to justify some amount in the spring and then have some money to buy either hockey or basketball tickets in the fall.
But overall I think the price of $295 for student football is way too high. Needs to get back down to a maximum of $195.
It is pretty sad that it has come to this. However, perhaps this is what is needed? Perhaps the more embarrasing it gets, the better in the long run...
I am kind of conflicted on this as well. Happy that the AD might be getting the message that they've gone way too far. Sad that this seems to be the only way to get a reaction.
Agree..sometime I feel like nothing would make people on this board happier than an empty stadium so they could say "i told you so". Not to mention it feels like most people hope the O line fails miserably so they can say "i told you so" about funk.
i'm taking this opportunity to upgrade my 8 seats. going for row A's.
Just curious -- have you sat in row A before? For what it's worth, I found it interesting for a game or two to be close to the field, but it's really hard to see from down there.
And love it...going for A this year.
out of approval for the Nuss hire and so I can get superfan tickets for my super-senior semester... I'll probably end up showing up to the stadium 6 hour early to scan my ticket, then go study or do something more valuable than watching Michigan beat up (fingers crossed so damn hard) on 2nd rate schools no one cares about.
next year's home schedule looks pretty darn good - best in quite a few years easy.
...but if you think that this is a problem that gets completely fixed by a better one you are dead, dead, dead, D-E-D dead wrong. ticket prices are too damn high.
Sweet Polly Purebred I had no idea student tickets were so much. Hmm, looking at the inflation adjusted price for my first ever student season ticket that included games against Notre Dame, Florida State, and tOSU, it's about $125. Student tickets should be $25 a game, max.
I went to the university of kentucky and even when they were a low level bowl team for a few years (sound familiar?) Their tickets were only 40 bucks for 8 home games.....hoMe games could include any combo of sec teams and also Louisville and the tix were still 5 per game for students. I know it's still uk football....but throw the students a bone. This year's schedule combined with the recent performance of michigan football can't possibly surpass 150 per student package.
I take it these are not tickets for a seat in a suite with a stocked liquor cabinet and HD TVs?
that price is boggling. i want to say it was $20 per game from '04-'08 or so? it's amazing how fucked up the relationship between the students and AD has gotten since then.
amazing and depressing.
there's a real potential for long-term damage of the brand here. It's not like some other schools didn't once have proud traditions, however much our own blinds us. As with Appy State, merely beating bad foes will not remove the monkey from Michigan's back. It gets to be a situation where people say the word Michigan and then all shake their heads; once this becomes reflex. . . little harder to recover. Brady Hoke is a good guy, but inspiring?
If attending five games in a year earns you the title of "Michigan Football Superfan," what title is he doling out to the now shat-upon plebes that have been season ticket holders for decades?
Feels about this. Just show up on time for 5 games and you're the same as that guy!
Poor super fan.
I must be one of the few who can't stand watching Michigan football games on TV. Being there is always infinitely better for not having to listen to announcers who don't know anything and being able to yell without fear of my wife reminding me other people live within 1000 feet of us.
But I paid way more than 300 bucks to see these games so I'd take a few tickets at that price point.
...a good sports bar is for. Enough noise to drown out the stupid annoucers and you're still welcome to scream yourself horse if you wish...with the added bonus of food & drink delivered upon demand.
the 100,000 streak this year.
That number has been fictional for a long time, at least by turnstile count.
Live sports attendance is under all kinds of pressure. The cost and hassles of attending go up every year, while the cost and hassles of watching in ever better quality at home go down.
Having 109,000 seats is a major source of pride, but it's also outdated. There's a reason (outside of Jerry Jones) they don't build NFL stadiums that big, and ballparks and arenas have frequently gone down in size over the last 20 years.
Brandon is pursuing every last nickel of revenue, that he doesn't need, while alienating fans with his "wow factors," and a crappy schedule, all while the team is struggling.
I opted not to renew after having had tickets since 1990 this year. I'm an out of towner who comes in once or twice a year, but I kept the tickets because I always wanted to be able to go to the big game. I sold off the rest on Stub Hub.
Well last year the Notre Dame game cost well north of $300 per ticket because virtually everything else was worth well below face, and even Ohio State only nominally above face. No more. If I want to go to the PSU game this year, I'm pretty confident I can get in for less than $300.
There is absolutely no way. You may have heard that there were a couple of subpar seasons at the end of the previous decade and attendance remained as strong as ever.
I used to have to hold as extras. I guess one fans' cloud is strormy and anothers has a silver lining perfect. Slim that student section way down.
Does anyone have a history of ticket prices over the past 20 years or so? Just curious - I have no idea how much I paid in the early-mid 90s.
I can't remember specifically, but I seem to recall paying something right around $100 for student season tickets in 2007. (The numbers $86 and $105 stick in my head by not sure if either is correct).
But that was before quantitative easing. /s
Just went and found a stack of my old ticket stubs. Can't find a lot of mine from the years in between (and I was in the band for a good stretch of it), but per game:
Tommy: A lot of people go to college for 8 years
Richard: yeah, they're called doctors
sure does SUCK. Way to go Dave.