I donated $300 this January to the Victors Club, with no prior giving history and I am not an alum. However, my father has donated money and held basketball season tickets throughout the 90's. With that said, I was given the opportunity to purchase 2 season tickets (renewable) and 4 non renewable season tickets. I took advantage of the offer and took all six, my friends are now eternally grateful. I talked with a guy at the Victors Club and having interned for a minor league baseball team in ticket sales, I have a little experience with how a ticket office is operated. The rep at the Victors Club seemed to want to say that next year they probably won't be able to fill all of the premium seating (seatbacks on the west side and chairbacks on the east side, and in doing so some deals might be available if you wait. With my brief experience in ticket sales I will tell you one thing that is very apparent. Season renewals were really low as evidenced by them offering OSU, ND, and PSU tickets, albeit in a package with other games. I really believe that this is part economy and partly due to last season. However, everyone is going through it, MSU is going to put Michigan single game tickets on sale for the first time in 10 years. I really think you should wait it out, you will probably be able to purchase those seats in December or January for a discount. I really believe that a lot of schools dug their own grave with some of the outrageous seat donations required for good seats. They can't go back and lower the amount, because then everyone will want a refund, or wait until the last minute in the future. But on the other hand most fans can't afford to fork out an extra $500 or $1000 per seat for great seats. By the way I got fairly good tickets for my renewable season tickets, I sit directly in the middle of the south endzone row 40, exactly what I requested.
New Stadium, Season Tickets, New Seating, Etc.
If your dad kept basketball season tickets going through the Ellerbe years, +100 to him. Man were those years ugly.
The closer you get to the 50 the more expensive the "donations" get. My seats were moved down 5 rows when they put in the handicapped area. The seats are great, but the economy makes the cost tough.
Yep, we got moved down 7 rows from our seats of 30+ years when the handicapped seating went in. Our old seats were far better than where we ended up. :\
Little-known tidbit: There's another row of handicapped seating going in at the top portals on the same side of the Stadium (?row 72?) after this season. Even though there is absolutely no demand for that many handicapped seats, and never has been.
The guy I was talking to from the Athletic Department about the whole thing just rolled his eyes the entire time he was talking about it because it eats up so many seats they would otherwise have filled, even though they can convert some of them back to conventional seating. And it's going to cause more people to be shifted around. I still have no idea how they managed to do it for the last installation and still keep people roughly sitting around the same people. Kind of stupid, but if it gets the Stadium within ADA compliance...
What the Athletic Department has been doing for several years, is essentially "banking" non-renewed season tickets, in preparation for a larger reshuffle that will occur when they do the renovation work inside the old bowl portion of the Stadium, expanding seat room and widening aisles.
That explains, in part, the phenomenon in which seat packages and moving season tickets have occurred. And without neccessarily second-guessing your appraisal that donations and renewals were down, I think the scenario I described at least explains in part what you may have seen in terms of the quality of actual ticket sales.
As for Preferred Seating Donations, you probably already know that you can get that information in a brochure from the Victors Club.
"Wolverine Level" and "Go Blue Level" donations, based on historical giving levels, are likely to get you seats in the "Valiant" seating area, which would be about the 30-35 yard line. (It's limited on the Michigan sideline because there is only one "Valiant" seating zone over there. There are two Valiant seating zones on the East side. I actually think the east sideline seats might be more in demand due to the proximity of Blue Lot parking, but that varies by patron.)
Blue Lot parking is going to be ripped to shreds after the Premium Seating opens. Even though the suite parking spots aren't all in the Blue Lot, it's going to eat up a ton of spaces, not to mention the basketball practice facility eating a bunch of spots, too. The threshold for giving and points and such is going to be through the roof. It's going to be a completely different place next season.
They've also been leaving single-game ticket sale tickets in the middle of chunks of season ticket holders in anticipation of the seat widening. After we got moved, in our little cluster of people, we have a single ticket gap that's sold through the ticket office every week. Usually filled by an opposing team fan. That seat is going to be gone when the seat widening happens.
As someone who has been going to games with my brother consistently since '07 (his season tix) and has had thoughts of going in for my own set of seats, the question and subsequent answers were very helpful.
+1 to you all.
Helpful information. I think I understand the situation better now. Ideally I would like to get seats in the Valiant section near 24. It seems like that would estimate out to approximately a $10,000 donation in the first year, plus PSD of $375 per seat. I assume I can donate $5,000 and have my firm match $5,000 and get to the Blue level for two seats. Does anyone know if this means I have to continue to donate $5,000 or if I can hold onto my seats by just paying the psd of $375 per seat each year?
That being said it seems like you could put a scalper on retainer and end up with similar seats for half the $$$$.
The market seems slightly misaligned.