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? 


Unicycle Firefly

December 12th, 2018 at 2:10 PM ^

I would respond by encouraging Michigan to be the "Leaders and Best" like they claim to be.  Flaunt the college football arms race by lowering prices, eliminating waste, and focusing more on the fans and student athletes.  You can't tell me that my money is going toward a scholarship fund when I show up at the Big House and see a giant digital billboard that serves no purpose, or a palatial non-revenue facility that will never draw more than a couple hundred spectators.  What I'm paying for is the athletic department's excess and waste, not the student athletes' scholarships. 

Section 1.8

December 12th, 2018 at 2:31 PM ^

Re: Your problem with "palatial" non-revenue-sports facilities.

That's not the half of it.  Those facilities (and we might differ about "palatial" qualities) are housing much bigger, ongoing expenses.  Coaching salaries.  Tuitions for hundreds of student-athletes.  Et cetera, et cetera.

But don't blame the Michigan Athletic Department.  I am not aware of any "waste."

Blame Title IX!  That is the non-negotiable driver that steers millions in football revenue away from football and into the non-revenue sports you are complaining about!


Section 1.8

December 12th, 2018 at 2:52 PM ^

That's right, Bando.  Blame Title IX.

Title IX; going back to when Bo Schembechler and Don Canham went to Washington to testify on Capitol Hill, and meet with President Ford in the Oval Office, to beg them not to impose Title IX, turning college football into a revenue machine for general collegiate athletics.

Football coaching salaries have gotten huge, I know.  It's a big problem, and I don't quite know how to deal with it.  Rest assured that the fanboys on MGoBlog will be screaming online if Don Brown exits Michigan for a Temple job that will pay him more money.  And that none of them will be complaining about the number of millions that Jim Harbaugh is making.

But beyond that, if anyone wants to complain about where all of the football revenue is going, it is going in large part to other sports including the sorts of non-revenue sports mentioned in the post above that I was responding to.

Absolutely, positively; it is an excellent time to think about Title IX (among other things) when we get news of (what I thought we'd agree on) an offensive price increase for Michigan season tickets.  I cannot think of a better time to mention Title IX.




December 12th, 2018 at 9:23 PM ^

yeah, to say blame title's a matter of words. The letter from Warde expressed that sentiment to me. 'we continue to be leaders and best' with outstanding facilities and all funded through our own athletics department.' What that spelled out for me is, the new track, rowing, performance, tennis, purchase of Fingerle lumber, etc. adnausum while gymnasts travel to Puerto Rico etc...that's coming from the football revenue. I was a non-revenue athlete and I know for fact we did not generate enough money to sustain our sport alone...add the inequity of 85 mens football scholarships, three women's sports barely add up to that total alone. In order to sustain the level of spending the cash is coming from somewhere. And if they are sporting a $2.5 fund balance...yeah...raising prices seems a bit shitty. Is it the fault of title IX? no...but is title IX factoring into their way of conducting athletics financials.? it sure is.


December 12th, 2018 at 9:25 PM ^

problem is, it's not just football scholarships, it's mens/womens track, cross country each, tennis each, rowing, soccer, softball, baseball support, hockey support, women's basketball, gymnastics each, lacrosse, and many more. At bare minimum...that figure is double (women's sports must total at least 85 scholarships for football equity alone. so it's minimum 10-12 million...)

Section 1.8

December 12th, 2018 at 1:30 PM ^

Because some MGoBlog readers are not donors/season ticket holders and will not get the email from Warde Manuel, I am going to post the full text of his message here.


Dear Season Ticket Holder,

Thank you for your continued support of Michigan Athletics as a football season ticket holder and donor. Your support played a critical role in a fantastic 10-win season and #7 ranking. We’re looking forward to seeing many of you in Atlanta for the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on December 29th and cheering on this fine group of student-athletes one more time.

In addition to your support on gameday, your financial commitment to our 900 student-athletes across 29 programs provides nearly 20 percent of our annual operating budget, providing resources to our student-athletes such as scholarships, academic services, and access to the top-of-the-line facilities.

At the close of 2017, a federal tax law was passed impacting the Preferred Seat Donation program. As we communicated back in December of 2017, one of the changes from this bill (Tax Cuts and Jobs Act) was ending the ability to deduct 80 percent of charitable contributions attached to the purchase of season tickets, or in our case specifically, the Preferred Seat Donation program. In light of the new legislation, the program will continue as it has in years past and will now be referred to as a Preferred Seat Contribution (PSC).

You may now log in and pay your 2019 football Preferred Seat Contribution by the deadline of January 31, 2019 at New, beginning in 2019, PSC renewals for Men’s Basketball and Ice Hockey will now take place later this spring and will be due by May 31. Donors who make their football Preferred Seat Contribution(s) by the deadline will be able to renew their season tickets beginning March 16.

When you log in, you will notice that PSC’s have increased slightly from 2018. The increase ranges from 2.5 to 5.5 percent depending upon seat location. Season tickets will also be increasing for 2019 by approximately five percent. Please know that Michigan Athletics is committed to keeping PSC’s and season tickets at this level for both 2019 and 2020.

These increases have been made in an effort to maintain our status as a leader in college athletics by supporting our student-athletes in the most comprehensive ways and continuing our tradition of financial stability. For more information and the full PSC and season ticket pricing structure, please visit: 2019 Preferred Seat Contribution Information.

As a department we are responsible for paying all costs associated with the athletics scholarships, which will total more than $27 million in 2018/19. Michigan is proud to be one of just a handful of financially self-sustaining departments in the country. We do not draw funds from the University’s general fund or from the state of Michigan. This level of stability would not be possible without the success of the PSC program.

The impact of your investment through the PSC is wide ranging and will continue to be the cornerstone upon which the success of our student-athletes rests by providing the resources to produce champions on and off of the fields of play.

Thank you in advance for your continued investment in the success of Michigan Athletics. Wishing you a Happy Holiday and a fantastic 2019.

Go Blue!

Warde Manuel

The Mad Hatter

December 12th, 2018 at 1:55 PM ^

They're out of their fucking minds with those prices, especially with PSD's not being deductible anymore.  It's just not worth it to watch us lose to OSU every year.  Maybe if we were Alabama the price would be justifiable.

But until people stop renewing their tickets, you can expect the price to keep going up every two years.

Playing The Field

December 12th, 2018 at 2:22 PM ^

Seriously considering dropping my tickets as well. I would guess that I can buy tickets on the secondary market for the games I want to attend for much cheaper than the whole cost of my three season tickets. Tough decision to make, but as it is now I can't make all the games anyway. So what's the point of holding onto my tickets if I can still go to the games of my choice for a much cheaper whole price than the whole season ticket price.

Ty Butterfield

December 12th, 2018 at 2:22 PM ^

Gave mine up after the 2017 season and I don’t regret it. Michigan is never getting past OSU anyway. Was able to go to the Wisconsin game this season after my Dad got some free tickets at the last minute. 


December 12th, 2018 at 2:32 PM ^

This 100% guarantees that I will not be getting season tickets next year. I'm on the fence every year (or every other year with the stupid BIG scheduling) but calling my decision made quite early this time. 

This is a ballsy move by the AD. 


December 12th, 2018 at 2:42 PM ^

This is a total smack in the face for me.

--Athletic Dept. is projecting a $2.5M budget surplus for FY2019 (7/1/18-6/30/19), on top of the $2.5M surplus they expected for FY2018.

--The University just purchased Fingerle, ostensibly to further expand the Athletic Campus.

--I received no less than a dozen phone calls and emails *begging me* to purchase 2018-2019 season basketball tickets.

--I give a substantial portion of my paycheck back to the University to help fund vital programs for undergrads, staff, and programs that do enormous good on a shoestring budget.

--The Athletic Dept. was totally unwilling to work with me at the start of the season when I asked to add 2 football tickets to the current 2 I've had for 10 years, which are the nosebleediest of nosebleed seats in Section 6.

Yet, they continue to send these hat-in-hand emails with a subtext that if I don't suck it up, I'll be depriving some poor kid of an education.

I'm struggling to come up with enough on the "Pro" side of the ledger to outweigh the ~$3-4K price tag and the other items on the "Con" side.




December 12th, 2018 at 2:52 PM ^

As my UofM Public Relations degree taught me, timing is everything, as I explained to Warde in my email to him just now.

Raising the prices less than a month after your brand shit the bed for the eleventy billiointh year in a row, coupled with the increased price we were already going to pay for three premium games in one year, and a non-conference schedule that makes it not worth the expense to get to the game is #PRFAIL.

Add on $15 for a hot dog and water, sweating to death in a climate-changed September that feels more like mid-summer, that damned rock music, and the idiot red hat guy who doubles the time games take, and I feel like they should be paying me to take tickets.

That being said, I'll renew this year. Next year is another story....

Section 1.8

December 12th, 2018 at 4:38 PM ^

Respectfully I say to you that "public relations" -- pro or con -- had nothing to do with this timing.  Every year the timing is the same.  Give PSC payers an option to pay the newly-dictated amounts in the current calendar year, or the next.  They need to get the PSC payments accounted for, before they send out the season ticket applications in the early spring.

It's just the way it goes.  Like death and taxes.

I don't disagree with your appraisal of the optics.  But there was no choice on timing, and anybody in the Athletic Department will tell you the same.



December 12th, 2018 at 9:56 PM ^

While that may have been true in the past, the fact that they're not deductible anymore (save for probably the businesses that are paying for those $90K PSD suites, cuz you know they didn't lose their tax deductions), what calendar year you pay them in is no longer relevant. May have sat better with a little more time after OSU, and a bowl win under our belts (she says optimistically.....)


December 12th, 2018 at 3:48 PM ^

It will be interesting to see if the latest loss to OSU impacts ticket sales.  I know of few recent games that seemed to be as painful to the fan base as this loss.


December 12th, 2018 at 4:24 PM ^

I've already decided to stop investing in tickets for football. If I'm spending money on tickets, travel from Indy, hotel, going out to bars and dinner, etc., then I'm spending it to go to basketball games. 

For the past 17 years I have traveled to Ann Arbor for at least 2 football games and 2 basketball games per year. It will only be basketball from now on. It's my favorite sport anyway. 


Go for two

December 12th, 2018 at 8:09 PM ^

I know this is funding all other sports, but if there is a surplus like last year, why raise prices?

Some of us are middle class without unlimited discretionary funds


December 12th, 2018 at 10:58 PM ^

We've had 4 tickets for almost 30 years in the north endzone, top row - so the cheap seats. Seriously considering dropping them after the 2019 season. I love the whole game/tailgate experience but this is getting ridiculous financially. The seat donation, actual cost of tickets, $10 for a hot chocolate, etc. and we even get free parking at our tailgate. My son can't afford them with 4 kids and my grandkids aren't growing up to be fans because they only come to one game a year. You can't give away the non-marque game tickets if the weather is bad, so there's money lost every year. Sorry Warde, we are about tapped out.


December 13th, 2018 at 12:14 PM ^

Oh we'll complain about the increased cost and mourn the loss of being able to deduct the PSD (now C) but we'll still shove the benjamins across the table and attend the games.  

At some point though the thrill of the experience (even after all this time going) will get outweighed by continued price increases that are in excess of wage increases and two tickets in a blue area will be open for the first time in nearly a generation.

I guess in the end it'll come down to whether the angst about not being there subsides.


December 14th, 2018 at 8:20 AM ^

True...but our family has gone from 8 to 4 season tickets because of price increases. The rest of the fam who wants to go to the game just buys tickets on the secondary market. The family we tailgate with no longer has season tickets....they had 6 and now just buy on the secondary market. 

People will say "if UM is good you will pay out the ass on the secondary market". Few notes; 1) you can almost always find them for slightly over face value and 2) the "bad" games are still cheap. No matter how good UM is you should be able to find half the home games for UNDER face value. 

3 of next years 7 home games you will be able to be decent to good tickets for $15-$40. So even if you overpay for ND/OSU/MSU you will save on those other games. Even Iowa you will be able to find at or under face value. 


December 14th, 2018 at 8:15 AM ^

Wonder if UM will ever consider cutting sports? At some point why not look at cutting things like field hockey, cross country, tennis, swimming and diving, golf, track and field, gymnastics etc. 

There are probably 30ish varsity sports at UM? You will have to cut mens sports as well to abide by Title IX. Hell eastern michigan cutting 4 sports is saving $2.5 million. 

Even if Michigan is not at that breaking point yet I'd have to assume this conversation has taken place, even preliminarily. I'd think any university would want to consider getting down to more of the 17-20 total varsity sport range. 

And yes...I have personal experience here. Went to BG to run track. Track was cut freshman year. So I know personally what this is like.