Michigan Football season ticket demand down significantly?

Submitted by Wolverine Devotee on May 9th, 2018 at 1:01 AM

Well, if you tried to getting season tickets in 2017 and were denied because of the large demand and the minimum number of priority points to be offered tickets set at 22, then you probably are happy if you re-applied in 2018.

According to MGoBlue, there has been a tremendous drop in season ticket interest-

Here is the 4-year table they updated

Season # of New Requests/Interest
List Donations
% Offered
Season Tickets
Minimum Points to
be Offered Tickets
2018 789 100% 1.5
2017 1,024 39% 22
2016 1,398 100% 1.5
2015 2,093 100% 1.5




May 9th, 2018 at 1:09 AM ^

I'm sure last year had something to do with it but I think our '18 schedule is equally to blame. Should be interesting to see what happens next year when all 3 big ticket games are home games.


May 9th, 2018 at 1:11 AM ^

Can't blame the schedule, even without ND / MSU / OSU. 

Wisconsin, Nebraska, Penn State . . . all beat us the last time we played them.



May 9th, 2018 at 1:18 AM ^

those are all FAR less appealing opponents than ND, MSU and OSU.

We lost our last TWO games to Utah but that wouldn't be a non-conference opponent that would move the needle much.  One of the least appealing P5 opponents in terms of fan appeal.


May 9th, 2018 at 9:12 AM ^

They are less appealing opponents than ND / MSU / OSU . . . but they are not far less appealing opponents.

They have a very large fan appeal, and these games will be pivotal games for us when they occur, especially the Penn State game.

We've only seen Wisconsin once at the Big House in a bazillion years, and Nebraska twice ever.

This is not Utah.  Poor example.

5th and Long

May 9th, 2018 at 1:34 AM ^

Might also have something to do with the tax law change starting in '18, whereby seat license/donations for college sports are no longer tax deductible.


May 9th, 2018 at 7:54 AM ^

Regardless of the shit-posting by Quatro, I imagine the recent record is starting to wear on people.

I'm aquainted with dozens & dozens of season ticket holders from new grads to people who played for Bo.  There is of course no lessening of love for Michigan or it's football program, but there has been a bit of an attitude change towards Harbaugh.  

No one can blame him for previous OSU losses, but the feeling IS cumulative, whether thats rational or not; and the reality of what it takes to beat OSU vs the Harbaugh cheerleaders the day he was hired is striking.

No, no-one wants him fired, they aren't haters, they're still "fun at parties"; but 3rd place in the east for 3 years running and a severely disappointing end to last season matter.

I don't think this a big reason sales may be down, I'd guess tax-law and home schedule are the main 2 contributors, but I can see where it may have a small impact.


May 9th, 2018 at 8:36 AM ^

I really don't like the "3rd place in the East" argument. Would Harbaugh be a better coach if he were winning the SEC East a la Jim McElwain?

I don't disagree with your points at all, but being 3rd in arguably the most competitive division in college football doesn't mean you're a worse coach than someone who wins a cakewalk division year in and year out.

Of course, relative to expectations, it's very reasonable to say we've underachieved so far under Harbaugh.


May 9th, 2018 at 12:44 PM ^

is that division finishes are meaningless. There are three things that matter in college football-did you beat your rivals, what was your final record, and did you make the playoffs. No one five years from now except trolls cares where we finished in the division. The proof of that is Florida-how did those two straight 1st place finishes in the SEC West work out for their coaches? If we were 10-2 and finish last in the division no one cares.


May 9th, 2018 at 4:20 PM ^

Of course conference titles are important--division titles aren't. I'm not spinning, I genuinely do not care and don't think most others do either. If you told me we would never win the division once, but would regularly beat our rivals and always finsh 10-2 or 11-1, I would take that deal forever. 


May 9th, 2018 at 9:33 AM ^

Or maybe it's the season-ending loss to a mediocre SEC team that still hangs over everyone.  That was a bad way to end the season and it carries over.  I think Harbaugh and the team needs to prove to the fans again that they're inspired and fired-up and the fans will follow.  I think we need some tangible proof the offense isn't going to be a shitshow this year before ponying up the money.  The offseason moves look good but proof is still needed.

And then there's the economy.  Buying (expensive) football tickets is discretionary spending, Many people have less discretionary money these days.

Blue in Paradise

May 9th, 2018 at 10:27 AM ^

Michigan lost 4 games each year including some bowl losses.  Season tickets had a multi-year waiting list...

This is not rocket science, it is the cost of these stupid PSDs against the loss of a tax deduction (people don't care but companies do) and no rivalry games.

The disappointing record last year I am sure has some impact but I doubt the primary target market for Michigan alums between 35-70 are going to give up on their team because of a season with 5 losses.


May 9th, 2018 at 11:07 AM ^

Did anyone else read this with the username "Wilton Speight" and think, "I guess he feels at ease to say some things now..."

In all seriousness though, the more we see posts like this, the more I think that a certain percentage of people being reactionary and bitter and given to mild retrorograde amnesia is what makes sports blog such fun on a daily basis.


May 9th, 2018 at 8:43 AM ^

If you start hearing stories about how country club memberships are also down this year then it's fairly safe to say that the new tax law is the primary reason.  It's a lot easier to justify those kinds of expenditures when a business can deduct them and reduce their bottom line/save on taxes.


May 9th, 2018 at 9:02 AM ^

I have heard from quite a few people that they are reconsidering all sorts for season tickets and suite purchases. If companies can't claim the suites as a business expense they are going to drop them. This is not just going to hit Michigan Football. I bet there is a precipitous drop in season tickets sales and suites sales at all venues.


May 9th, 2018 at 1:23 PM ^

Entertainment expenses are no longer deductible.  Technically that also includes meals if it is for entertainment purposes.  There is some disagreement within the tax community whether CLIENT meals/drinks would be considered entertainment.  Question depends somewhat on whether there is a business purpose.  The standard for business purposes can be interpreted loosely (e.g. at dinner Q: "How is business?" A: "Great" - Deduct away?).  If you're going to deduct 50% of the meals then you'll just want to have receipts and documentation supporting it.


May 9th, 2018 at 2:27 PM ^

I brought this up a few months ago and basically got told that it couldn't possibly affect anything.

I agree with you, and think it will affect other teams a lot more than Michigan.  IMO the price of tickets has been artificially inflated because you could write off the PSD.  With that gone, I suspect some people may find the pricier seats harder to stomach on a yearly basis.

I'm not saying that the tax write off was good tax policy.  I'm just saying that the price the schools charged had that benefit baked in, and we may see some change in demand now that it is gone.



May 9th, 2018 at 1:46 AM ^

a huge number of new requests came in for the first year of Harbaugh, there was a significant drop from 2015 to 2016 and it's still dropping but less so each year since as it's probably leveling off to a steady state as the bandwagon has become mostly to capacity once again.

Add in the meh season last year and a weak home schedule this year and it's probably just a little under what we should expect in a normal year, right?


May 9th, 2018 at 3:52 AM ^

I personally know 4 or 5 people/families that are dropping their season tickets. It's mostly about the money, and/or the interest in making the commitment to attend 8 games that comes along with the money being paid. I live 3 miles from the stadium, but only go to one or two games a year now. I just cannot justify paying that much for a "neat experience" when I've done it 100 times already and it's simply better watching at home...