Glimpse from your future: PSU attendance down due to mandatory donations
...how do you know what they will look like?
that's stupid on penn state's part
One of Satan's lesser inventions.
Honestly, I think that they look at how much people donate each year, picked a number of season tickets they are aiming to sell, and did a cut off at that point. Any increases in donation from people who donate lesser amounts is a bonus for them. This will free up tickets for the package deals, which they can sell at higher prices per game, and single game tickets.
I really don't think they went into this without doing a huge evaluation of the situation. If they do get themselves into a bind, they could lower the amount to $250 to get more people on the waiting list again.
I'm not so smart and thus cannot figure out what is going on with the waiting list for next year. Is the new policy that we have to pay/donate more than the $10 "application charge" that was required in the past to get on the waiting list? If so, why would they want to thin out the waiting listers?
I got the letter while I was on vacation, so I read Brian's post here first, and didn't bother with the actual letter. (Just to get full disclosure out of the way)
But, you have a lot of people just adding themselves to the waiting list and not doing anything. I think the goal is ultimately to bring in more money via donations. Let's say that you have 100,000 people on the waiting list and 50,000 actually get season tickets. I'm guessing that $500 donation is somewhere around the 60th or 70th percentile. That would mean that they are betting the donations for the last 10,000-20,000 seats that they can get people to up their donations from $0-499 to $500. If they don't, then any seats that remain will be sold in the packaged deals or single tickets at the higher rates. It's basically a win-win for the AD because they are charging more per ticket in any case.
So, it's not so much a thinning of the waiting list, but a shit-or-get-off-the-pot move. IIRC, season tickets average out to somewhere in the $50s, so a donation of $300 puts the cost of the ticket at $100 (for a 6-game season), well ahead of the single price tickets. I can't imagine that they would go much below that if too many people removed themselves from the waiting list.
I think that sounds about right, but for a lot of people they are going to be on the pot, trying to shit, but if you don't donate enough money nothing is going to come out. Sort of a vulgar metaphor, but I guess you started it. Each year everyone who wants to be on the wait list is going to have to donate money - in return they may or may not get a chance to buy tickets.
But with each donation, their chances of getting tickets goes way up...
That's also true, but being forced to donate to the AD simply to be on the waitlist is ridiculous. Especially if that donated amount doesn't reduce the amount you have to donate in order to get upgraded seats. Does anyone know if the waitlist donation can be applied to the minimum donation required to actually buy the tickets?
6 years ago after being on the list for a few years - before they starting doing this crap. I'm not sure we would have been willing to put up $500 just to stay on the list - tax deduction or no tax deduction.
But the gimp's sleeping.
Well I guess you're gonna have to go wake him up, now won't ya?
I think this has been going on for a while here. Not terribly sure when it started, but for as long as I was on the waiting list, you had to donate at least $100 to get the endzone seats, $1000 (I think) for the "outer" sideline and even more for between the 40s.
But, so far we've still been selling out and filling it up.
selling out? yes.
filling up? not so much.
3 of 8 games this year. Still tickets available for homecoming as of Monday. I have been able to get some really cheap tickets this year though. $17 for EMU, $30 for Minny, $45 for SDSU. I did have to pay face for Nebraska though.
Having an abundance of cheap tickets is not good branding IMHO.
4 tix together at 15 each for EMU on the 30 - stubhub
2 together at 10 each on the 5 for SDSU - out front, 30 minutes before kick
2 together at 10 each on the 25 for Minnesota - out front, 45 minutes before kick
2 together at ?? each on the ?? for Purdue - ??
Love the season ticket holders, but the license fees, stubhub-type outlets and alternating crappy year home schedules are bound to get people thinking...
So are you saying, a second deck on the Big House is more or less likely?
We've had 100K+ since 1975, where I think they just expanded in 2001. M football is a unique animal
Having worked at the stadium for several years now I question the attendance figures, especially for the EMU and Minnesota games.
But as long as they force people to buy seats to unpopular opponents so they can secure seats to the 'good' opponents ( Western/Nebraska ticket package, for example) they'll still sell out.
During the EMU game I had multiple people come through my gate with extra tickets to give away...
If the economy gets worse I suspect things will change... but then it doesn't matter, as long as rich people can afford seats no one will care.
are tickets sold, plus everyone else in the stadium (concession workers, media, security, first aid, etc).
If all those extra tickets that people were holding had been purchased, they are counted towards the attendance figure whether or not people used those tickets.
Well, it's a good thing that they don't take attendance to the bank, they take money. It's entirely possible that they run lower attendance and make more money.
you are one capitalist Castro.
at least 2005 for season ticket holders.
less than one minute apart...
These tiered donations are only required when you are offered season tickets. What they are doing now is requiring a non-refundable donation simply to get on the waiting list! Its insane.
PSU is just doing the same thing to season ticket holders as I indicated UM does above. (Just with a little stiffer tariff.)
EDIT- PSU even links to other programs (including Michigan) in B1G to sell it: http://www.gopsusports.com/sports/c-lionclub/step-others.html
Maybe PSU should bundle in a free pair of JoPa 100x magnafication glasses for no extra cost.
There must be a great picture of him on the interwebs frying an ant with those glasses in the sun.
There is really no risk to making a donation to get on the list for season tickets at this time. Right? You are going to get season tickets, in very short order... right? Or not?
A $500 donations gets you consideration for season tickets, but with no guarantee. A $100 donation and you may get single game offers also know as EMU, Central, Akron.
Having made a $500 donation, you get on a season ticket waiting list...
Do you need to keep making annual donations to stay on the list? Or does your $500 get you on to the wait list for two years, insofar as they recalculate Victors Club points every other year?
Having made a $500 donation, what is the typical time that one might remain on the waiting list until they become a season ticket holder? Has anyone waited more than two years for tickets if they have made, say, a $100 donation in Year One and a $500 donation in Year Two?
My presumption is that anyone who makes a $500 donation doesn't have to wait too long to get a season ticket subscription. (And I further presume that the general status quo has changed from time to time. I remember a time when the waiting list for season tickets was very long; that was before PSD's when old-time long-term season ticket holders just renewed every year and there was very little turnover in subscribers. I think it has actually gotten more fluid now, and easier to get tickets, with the kicker being that you have to pony up some cash to the Athletic Department to get them.)
Am I mistaken about any of that?
Actually since 2005 you paid the $10 to get on the waitlist but you needed to donate a minimum of $100 per year between November-January in order to activate your victors club points and be considered for season tickets. If you just paid the $10 wait list fee once you would not have been offered tickets.
Last September I paid the $10 to be put on the wait list and then when my donation form came in the mail in November I donated $300. I received renewable season tickets for this season and found out I would have gotten them even if I only donated $100.
Not much has changed other than moving the total from $100 to $500 and not having a confusing wait list that people think just paying $10 once means they will get tickets eventually.
Although the prices are different; about half of what PSU is demanding. Those numbers from Penn State are very surprising -- very high.
You can see what Michigan does on the Victors Club website; premium and club seats are up around $1000 ea.
Victors = $500 ea.
Valiant = $375 ea.
Maize = $250 ea.
Blue = $125 ea.
End Zone = $50 ea.
That is for each seat, every year, before the price of the tickets.
Seats between the 35 and the goal line
...you could see why they are not selling out. Happy Valley is a long way from somewhere, there are woefully too few hotel rooms (see the first point), the stadium resembles a giant erector set in a pasture, the in-game experience is overwhelmed by pom-poms and cheesy piped-in music and PSU really hasn't been very good of late. I am sure price is part of it (2x U-M for that experience?), but it's still cheaper than Steelers season tix.
. . . both for Michigan games, in addition to watching the crowd involvement in their night games. In my experience, the PSU fans are spectacular. What you say is true about the lodging/arrangements, but the in-game experience was amazing both times I was there (one for a loss in the 1995 Snow Bowl and the 1997 victory). So I have to disagree with your assessment of the in-game experience, but I do agree that it definitely is not twice as good as the Michigan gameday experience!
Why do you think everyone drives an RV to the game? Seems to work well for them.
I am a current PSU grad student (UM alum) and one of the other problems with the Penn State policy is that they altered the sections comprising the "student section" this season. The student section previously followed a similar arrangement to that of UM, but this season, the student section was shifted further around the endzone and extending around only to approx. the goal line. As a result, season ticket holders were once again displaced (from the endzone)...arguably with hopes they would upgrade their seats to the previous sections comprising the student section (from around the goal line to the 30 yd. line). Obviously, these seats were more expensive to begin with. The concrete price difference, combined with the emotion vitriol of displaced ticket holders to the athletic department has culminated into general displeasure with the new policy and decreased ticket sales
And the stadium still sells out obviously. The "glimpse from the future" was the sight of a partially empty stadium due to a fan base squeezed just a bit too much. Seems like PSU has found that breaking point. We're on our way.
We spoke with the Victor's Club earlier this year to get a read on how much exactly is was going to cost us to get off the waitlist and into prime (non-endzone) ticket nirvana. The price at that time was $1,500 per seat. That was the figure thrown at us to get move up to the top of the waitlist; giving you enough "points" @ 10/$100 donation. This of course was independent of your ticket prices and future seat licenses. U of M football has instantly become my number one most expensive hobby.
As someone who had 1 leg and a half over the fence on finally pulling the trigger on season tickets these new policies couldnt have came at a worse time.
$500 is alot of cash just for the opportunity to be considered for season tix. My fear is exactly as described above. If the goal is to reduce the waitlist and 20,000 fans pony up> $500 then it becomes a pissing contest into who can donate the most for end zone tickets.
I dont know, I really really want to do this but am hesitent to get bent over.
I'll take the $500 and put it toward my scalper fund. I think the face value of season tickets is about $600/ ticket. I'm not super pumped about paying $1200 for two tickets since it is likely more than the second hand market value but I'm willing to do it because my seats are guaranteed and the money goes to the school. The extra $500 is too much when you consider the tickets aren't guaranteed and it will end up being a total price of $1700 for two tickets. I'll take my chances with scalpers.
I think I make a pretty good living and Michigan football is a pretty high priority for me but season tickets are not an option given the current circumstances.
I think I make a pretty good living and Michigan football is a pretty high priority for me but season tickets are not an option given the current circumstances.
This sentence describes me perfectly as well. I am able to go to games thanks to some family price subsidization. I really wonder how far they can go before they've priced out enough of the fanbase to really start leaving seats empty.
This is the culmination of something that began 4 or 5 years ago. People that held the same seats for generations (lots of dead people were still renewing) were being forced to move. Say your family had good seats at the 50 yard line before, well those seats were moved to a corner section unless you were willing to pay some garbage fee to keep your seats.
After enough of those people were rousted, the premium seats were then resold along with a PSL to higher tiers of "donors" to the NLC. It was very upsetting to a lot of oldsters who have supported PSU through thick and thin since JoePa arrived. They just cannot afford this, and they have finally gotten to see the corporate face of college sports.
Couple all of this with a coach who has had at least one stroke that won't be acknowledged, no succession plan, and midling performances - you get games that aren't sold out. I just wonder how long it will be until we see tarps covering vast portions of seats...with a corporate sponsor logo on them of course.
There's rumblings there will soon be a seat license, er, PSD, for Michigan Basketball and Hockey as well. How much farther are we going to go with this?
It will be great for all the blue hairs! They won't have to put up with all the rabble -- their incessant cheering, jumping up on an exciting play, etc.
It will be nice and quiet with all the venues only half full -- also a lot roomier.
Top 1% have 50% of the seats
Let's do the math.
6,000 less season tickets (8 games) at 55 per game is 2 MILLION 640 thousand dollars!!
Penn State is now at an unbelievable 94.63 percent of capacity. (M is still at 101.45 %). PSU capacity is over 106,000 so they are running over 6,000 seats less per game.
It would take 26,400 season pass holders in the end zone paying $100 per seat just to break even. Not sure there are that many seats in the end zone.
So, dropping the seat tax for end zone seats would actually make money.
And, fill the stadium!!
That's assuming all the lost sales are in the endzone. The OP however said that most were in the areas that require $400+ donations. At those levels, about 50% would have to go unsold for them to make less money. Right. I'm pretty sure they're making out quite all right.
way of the future.... way of the future.... way of the future
Are worth less victors points than those this year so really your best bet for tix has always been to donate a ton in 1 year. If you really want tix put 1500-2000 aside over the next couple years then donate it all at once.
I was fortunate enough to bet that the depths of the RR era was as cheap donation wise as it ever would get and landed 4 using that approach
Long ago and far away, when I was young, the only games that ever sold out were MSU or Ohio. A lot of games were played to a half-empty stadium. It was actually pretty cool.
Enter Don Canham. Canham is given credit for creating a lot of what is now standard football marketing. He was so successful that many mgobloggers have never lived in a time when a Michigan game wasn't officially a sellout, even with the fans who are masquerading as empty seats at the tops of the end zones.
Due to the value of a University of Michigan degree, there are still enough rich alums that a lot of tickets will be sold, but I can see the average fan finally saying "enough is enough" someday.
If Michigan prices itself out of the market, though, the people who will be really pissed are the scalpers. Nothing neutralizes scalpers like reduced demand. I hate to wish ill will on anyone in a personal sense, but nothing is more fun to watch on gameday than a desperate scalper with a couple thousand dollars' worth of tickets in his hand five minutes before kickoff.
Dave BRANDon is the anti-Don Canham.
Canham filled up the Big House. BRANDon will empty it out.
...this seems like classic supply and demand. the penn state athletic dept seems to think that people will pay whatever it takes, and the people are saying, "no, that's too much." football is slightly different, of course - if penn state was undefeated and had an exciting team, it probably wouldn't matter.
but i can see making the calculation in my head and deciding that one or two games a year is ok, when every game is televised and my hd tv looks like a million dollars. i've done it myself - i know i complain about this every time it comes up, but i'm not going to pay seventy bucks (or $170, or whatever it is going to take next season) to watch eastern michigan again (or delaware state, or ball state, or akron, etc.)
plus, there's very little chance of me hearing pop evil or seeing some goddamned mascot when i'm in my living room.
Brandon is asking for the same problem with this kind of minimum donations just to have the honor of asking for seats. It's bad enough he raised ticket prices. As a young alum not yet making the big bucks, I don't have season tickets, but I've bought tickets to at least two or three individual games every year since graduation. But this ticket-gouging makes me more and more inclined to simply take the money I'd spend on tickets and buy a new televison to watch the game on instead. [I thought about doing so this year, but ultimately decided I care more about being there for Hoke's inaugural season than I care about my principles as a consumer.] Call it supply and demand--I don't ever want to see Michigan lose its 100K+ attendance streak record, but I won't be tanken advantage of, either.