PSL / 2019 Ticket Costs

Submitted by bgoblue02 on December 12th, 2018 at 12:47 PM

Just received email that the cost of the PSL will be going up (2-5%) as well as cost of season tickets (also about 5%).

Has to be a breaking point on cost soon I would imagine? 


LAX-DTW Wolverine

December 12th, 2018 at 12:50 PM ^

I was just about to post about this.


Because starting this year, PSDs are no longer tax deductible, for some of us, this represents an actual cost increase of nearly 50%.


Pretty brazen that knowing about the tax treatment they would raise prices in the very same year.

Section 1.8

December 12th, 2018 at 1:19 PM ^

Right.  You just beat me to posting the same comment.

And this completely unsurprising news is completely in keeping with my prediction when the UM-MSU football scheduling arrangement was flipped.

I have all along suspected that the Michigan and MSU athletic directors both thought it would be a cool trick; to work it so that every other year (in alternating years) they could raise ticket prices and seat licenses with the attraction of at least two (or more) big rivalry games on the home schedule.  It added insult, to me, to the basic unattractiveness of switching the MSU schedule.

I am not going to blame Warde Manuel for having instituted this arrangement.  Mark Holllis and Dave Brandon did it; and they vaguely blamed the Conference for it.  Something incomprehensible about the need to avoid having any one of UM, MSU, OSU or PSU being forced to play all three of the others on the road in any given season.  It never made sense to me.  If anyone can explain it, by all means let us know.

I have never gotten any good explanation of this arrangement from anyone in the University of Michigan Athletic Department, despite repeated questions.  They owe us an explanation.  I don't think they have any good explanation.

Now having said that I am not going to blame Warde Manuel, I am not going to let him off the hook.  He has to answer for any maintenance of the status quo.  He is our representative, when new schedules are made, and indeed when any new tv contracts are negotiated.  He owes us a detailed explanation.



December 12th, 2018 at 7:34 PM ^

We have been employing a Cold War strategy.  Just as we made the U.S.S.R. spend themselves into defeat with nukes, we are slowly doing that to OSU in the form of gold pants.  

And now I have to kill you.

Humble brag: my PSC for 2 tickets is now$1320 for the "privilege of buying the tickets". I thought it was only $1200 last year.  SO a 10% increase, not 5.5%.  But I could be mistaken.


December 12th, 2018 at 12:56 PM ^

Wow.   I know the home schedule is great this year and they'll prolly get it without too much trouble but God help them next year....especially if we have another meh year like 2017.  What's amazing is how much more tickets to Michigan games are than my Browns tickets.  With the Browns there was a one-time PSL of $2,500/ticket that my father-in-law paid years ago.  When he gave us his PSL we had no transfer fees, just had to fill out a few forms and continue to buy tickets.  My three seats in third deck, row 1 (right on the rail) on the 50 yard line cost $78 per game or $780 for the year per seat.

Michigan is really, REALLY testing the limits of fandom.


December 12th, 2018 at 3:09 PM ^

agreed MgrowOld...and to that point it's more insulting that they share how we are a self-sustaining athletic program essentially saying our dollars are keeping all sports running and doing anything and everything they want to at some point, and it very well might be this year for me, the cost allocation of spending bigger and bigger will make that 55" TV, no wait for a restroom break, Tivo replay, and actual store cost of food and beverages that much more enticing. I figure I'm already paying TV rights, since they call most of the shots now...time to enjoy it and say have fun packing the stadium when more and more are already doing the same. 


December 12th, 2018 at 12:57 PM ^

Pay more without the added benefit of tax deduction.  Yay.  And with more cupcake non-con games.

Good thing we paid Arkansas and Va Tech (?) to not play us.


December 12th, 2018 at 1:02 PM ^

Breaking point reached for me.  Was on the fence for renewing as my kids are getting older and I don't really want to miss them playing fall sports.  This makes the decision easier. 

Section 1.8

December 12th, 2018 at 1:22 PM ^

It's a terrible decision to have to make, and I feel as though I can empathize with you as I am nearing the same conclusion.

What I hope that you will do, if indeed you do drop your season tickets, is to write to Warde Manuel and explain to him your history with Michigan football (and perhaps the University itself), and let him know how and why you came to the decision to give it up.

Don't go quietly into the night (games).

Section 1.8

December 12th, 2018 at 2:25 PM ^

Consistently, when I have written to or spoken with various people within the Athletic Department, from Bill Martin to Dave Brandon to lower-level executives, they have all made me feel as though I was heard.  Almost without fail, and even without demanding replies, I have gotten responses.

Now, as to the question at hand, the person to whom I was responding was saying that he (?) had made the decision to abandon his season tickets and no longer make a PSC (it appears that the UMAD has changed their terminology from "PSD" [Preferred Seating Donation] to "PSC" [Preferred Seating Contribution]).  So your suggestion on that front was already understood.

I am not telling anyone to continue with, or abandon, their season tickets.  I presume that anyone who quits their long-held season tickets over the matter of price hikes will also not donate to the UMAD in some other way.  But that too is up to individuals.

My only point is that for those who decide that it is time to abandon season tickets to Michigan football, don't do it quietly.  Because your voice will be heard at 1000 South State Street.



December 12th, 2018 at 4:08 PM ^

Thanks for the offer but I let emotion get in the way of common sense.  It would be foolish to transfer or cancel the tickets for 2019.  Ideally, I will find someone (preferably a family member or friend) who would be interested in "renting" a two year block.  If I can get someone to commit to buying 2020 as well as 2019, I would consider selling them at face value.  If no one is interested in that, I'll sell 2019, taking advantage of having ND, MSU, and OSU all at home and see how I feel about letting them go at the end of next year. 


December 12th, 2018 at 1:04 PM ^

Won't the scalping cost for ND, MSU, and OSU altogether be cheaper than the season package plus PSL fee at this point?  I don't know about anyone else, but I could pass on Rutgers, MTSU, Army and Iowa.  Besides, I'd rather see us play at Wisconsin and Penn State.

Guy Fawkes

December 12th, 2018 at 1:04 PM ^

LOL, cancel cancel cancel. Throw in parking, food, gas, apparel and its officially a fucking joke. Fans continue to get screwed, and we dont even get a god damn big ten championship with said price increases. Buy a 75in TV, stop going. It's not fun anymore....unless you're in the 1% rich class. 

Billy Ray Valentine

December 12th, 2018 at 1:05 PM ^

The decision-makers may be about to learn a hard lesson about "supply-and-demand."  I'm an out-of-state season ticket holder.  I typically go to 3 games a year.  I either give away the other games to friends/family or I often sell for what the market will bear.   It has not gone unnoticed that cheaper tickets are routinely available in my section (Section 3). 


The tax advantage did soften the financial blow in the past.  That advantage is now gone.  When I view the world through my maize and blue lens, I assume the stadium will always be 80-95% full.  When I peek around my lens, I see season ticket demand withering away.  Warde (or whoever made this decision) is flirting with the edge of a cliff. 


Not good, Bob!    

814 East U

December 12th, 2018 at 1:12 PM ^

Warde getting the money before the season ticket exodus that will occur in 2020. This will probably be my last season as a season ticket holder until tickets are more affordable.

The sports ticket bubble is close to bursting, right? I don't see Michigan Stadium being full when baby boomers are too old to go and since the university student body is becoming less and less in-state focused.


December 12th, 2018 at 1:43 PM ^

i'm in the same boat.  a buddy and me have 4 together.  we will likely drop two of them after 2019.  i paid just over 2 grand for half a season of cubs tickets (41 games).  with these price increases, the UM tix (a pair) far exceeds my cub cost, and it's only 14 football game tix.


December 12th, 2018 at 1:14 PM ^

The Michigan athletic department has long seemed to operate on the theory that demand for football tickets is inelastic—that there is no increase in price that will seriously reduce the numbers of people willing to pay. For most of the past four decades—since they started routinely selling out the stadium in 1975—they've been right.

With the elimination of the tax write-off, we're about to see their assumptions put to the acid test. Good luck to them.

Bando Calrissian

December 12th, 2018 at 1:14 PM ^

More expensive tickets for a schedule that's only great every other year and a diminishing in-game experience spent listening to blaring RAWK and watching the red-hat man stand on the field for hours at a time? A student section that only shows up for the big games, and then only about 2/3 of them, arriving late and leaving early? Variable gametimes that aren't announced until days ahead of time, completely divorced from what players and coaches and fans alike prefer?

System's broken. Breaking point is dangerously close for me.

Unicycle Firefly

December 12th, 2018 at 1:25 PM ^

I'm commenting again, because this pisses me off the more I think about it.  Our prices continue to increase so we can pay Jim Harbaugh a billion dollars a year to be the most overrated coach in the history of college football (or is it to fund the excessive lacrosse and field hockey stadiums that no one ever goes to?).  I might be able to tolerate the chronic under-performing on the field if the prices were reasonable (probably a big reason the season ticket waiting list held strong during the four straight 4-loss seasons in the 90's), but when I'm paying exorbitant prices for this, then it just becomes a business decision.  Take the season tickets and shove them up your ass, I'll watch the rivalry game losses from the comfort of my recliner, and spend the extra money to take the family on a nice vacation that we'll all remember and cherish for years. Ironically, that's what Michigan football used to be for us.

Section 1.8

December 12th, 2018 at 1:44 PM ^

The reply that I want to make to you is that I am never going to hold the Athletic Director responsible for an 11-1 season, versus a 7-5 season.  Now, I like to win football games and nobody wants Michigan to represent the elite of the Big Ten more than me.  But I don't treat collegiate football like an NFL fan might treat the team of his choice, and demand a winner or withhold a purchase of tickets.

I want very much for college football to be a lot LESS like the NFL.  I want college football to be a simpler, smaller, less expensive game.  I think that is the only way that my ticket prices will be held in check in the long term.

By the way; let's all recall what a burden it is, for the Michigan Athletic Department to pay tuition for all of these scholarship athletes.  It's a huge number, and is almost unconstrained by any sensible market forces.



Section 1.8

December 12th, 2018 at 2:41 PM ^

Uh, you seem to have not gotten the point, because you fundamentally don't know how things work.

The Athletic Department at Michigan operates independently (financially) from the rest of the University's general fund budget.

The Athletic Department doesn't determine tuition.  Indeed, the Athletic Department is routinely paying out of state tuition for all student-athletes.  The Athletic Department literally writes a gigantic check to the University, for the tuition of the student-athletes.  It is an arm's-length transaction.  It is a payment, as much as struggling "Muggles" write checks to the University for their tuition.

I don't know if that helps you understand better; does it?  The Athletic Department is not writing a check to themselves, for prices that they themselves raised.  You were wrong about all of that.  The Athletic Department is writing a painfully large check, to pay for something that they cannot control, pricewise.



December 12th, 2018 at 3:13 PM ^

The AD's 2019 budget (see page 52) projects $52.4M in "Spectator admissions" and $30.2M in "Preferred seating contributions," with $27.8M (as Warde stated in his email) in "Financial aid to students."

While the AD is not paying itself, justifying increases in PSL and ticket prices to defray the "gigantic" cost of scholarships is ludicrous, to the tune of about $55M.

Section 1.8

December 12th, 2018 at 3:37 PM ^

I have read that budget many times before today.  And I truly do not understand your point.

The Athletic Department is getting more than $30 million from folks like me, even before we have the pleasure of paying full-price for our season tickets.  That's revenue, for the Athletic Department.

And next to coaching salaries, the biggest cost for the Athletic Department is paying for student-athletes' tuition, which they pay FROM Athletic Department revenue, TO the University's general fund.  That is a cost, to the Athletic Department.

Help me understand what your point was.



December 12th, 2018 at 4:01 PM ^

My point wasn't about funds flow; I know how a budget (including this one) works.

My point is that Warde Manuel, per his email, is using the $27.3M cost for scholarships to justify an increase in PSL and ticket prices. That makes it seem as though the department is struggling to cover the cost of scholarships, which is patently false. 

Section 1.8

December 12th, 2018 at 4:22 PM ^

I still do not understand your point.

The second-biggest line-item in the Athletic Department budget is the cost of tuition.  ("Student Financial Aid.")  And that line-item keeps going up.  Remarkably, it is going up faster than the rise in ticket prices.  I expect even more dramatic ticket price increases in the future if something doesn't give.

If the Athletic Department is not "struggling" to keep up with rising tuition costs, it is only because folks like me keep upping our payments of PSC's  And paying more for ticket prices.  And with our games falling on the mercies of television networks who then dictate when and how the games are directed.

I really do not understand where you are going with this.  Yes; tuition is a huge cost for the Athletic Department.  And it is going up.  And the Athletic Department keeps asking us to pay for it.