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 6:10 AM ^

This certainly doesn't help.

A game day experience: Buy expensive tickets. 

A 3 hour drive at least with game day traffic.  Find parking far away or pay for parking close by.  Get there early so you don't miss out and can enjoy the atmosphere so you need to leave at least 4 hours before the game.  Be sure to buy some gas close to Ann Arbor, so you don't have to after the game.  Worry about drinking or eating too much so you don't have to use the bathroom much during the game.

Sit on a hard metal bench during the game.  Get sun burnt if it is September, get wet if it is October, or get cold if it is November.   Lose your voice trying to help the team...I use my voice at work so Monday will be rough.

Replays are subject to the jumbotron.  The bathroom is dictated by when halftime or the end of the game - it is in a crowded room that you have to wait in line for.  Heaven forbid if you have to poop, the guy before you was a Buckeye truck driver that peed on the seat, had a diarrhea explosion, and messed up the toilet paper.  Food is expensive and limited during the game.

Traffic is obnoxious trying to leave so best case scenario is to wait a half hour before trying to leave...expect to get home about 3 and a half hours after kickoff.

And you missed other games of interest before, after, or both before and after the Michigan game as you are on the road.  You then spend all of Sunday trying to catch up on work chores and making it up to your wife for being gone all Sunday.  Don't sleep in either day.

A game at home:  Save money.

Wake up whenever the kids get me up.  Take them outside to play.  Watch parts of other games before and after the Michigan game.  

During the game watch in HD with better view than from my would be nosebleed tickets.  If I have to go to the bathroom I can go during any commercial quickly or simply pause the tv.  If I need a replay I simply rewind the tv.  At halftime I can go jog in the dunes or sprint to Lake Michigan and back while listening to the radio halftime show on my personal radio.  Food options are more and cheaper.

Sunday morning I can sleep in and then exercise for a couple hours as I am not backed up with work and obligations.

Wolverine 73

May 9th, 2018 at 8:17 AM ^

You could have a litany of similar complaints about any pro football or baseball season. Why do people go? Because it is more fun being at the game, engrossed in the action, than watching at home. It is more fun sharing the experience with 40 or 70 or 100 thousand people than your wife and kids, who are probably not paying much attention in the family room. It is more fun walking the old campus, visiting your old haunts, remembering good memories.

Indiana Blue

May 9th, 2018 at 8:36 AM ^

it's all about the money.  If it was truly disposable income - going to the game with great seats and great parking and taking the kids and wife would be a no-brainer.  Nope, please don't preach just because that's how you are wired.  I love football Saturdays.  The excitement at the stadium is unmatched by anything on TV ... and whoopee HD.  You seem like the perfect "get off my lawn" guy in the future.

Go Blue!


May 9th, 2018 at 9:11 AM ^

I don't understand your point about the money nor do I understand your jab at me personally.

It is expensive to get season tickets and pay for the gas and stadium food that follows. That could be invested in stocks or my kids college funds. That is a real choice middle class people make when buying season tickets.

Some games have an electric atmosphere in the stadium and are great memories.

Season tickets are the entire home slate. Will SMU be an electric atmosphere? How many games under Hoke and RichRod did I drive all day to and back dreading a beat down?


May 9th, 2018 at 7:44 PM ^

It’s the tax law change, but for several years now it’s the in-home, HD experience. This is not isolated to Michigan games. And Big Ten schools have the weather, distance and other factors you mention. SEC schools are having the same issues and they usually have great weather so their issue is more likely the 3-4 FCS powerhouses each SEC team schedules.

What I don’t understand is how the Buckeye truck driver can afford to attend every Michigan home game (and why?)


May 9th, 2018 at 10:02 AM ^

From 1983 - 2017 they tailgated in the Blue lot right outside the stadium.  My dentist brother, his best friend (also a dentist) and his best friends family.  About 14 tickets in all and they all decided to give them up this year along with their parking pass in the blue lot.  Why?  A number of reasons:

1. First and foremost lack of winning.  The cumulative effect of 2008-2014 definitely wore on people and when the high hopes of Harbaugh werent met it was terribly disappointing to that group.  

2. Night games.   Yes they are older but they HATE night games with a passion.  Hate having to be at a game that late and not get home to after 2am.  

3. Rising costs of tickets & PSL vs actual "fun" at game.  The experience, for them anyways, had reached the point where it just wasnt worth it anymore.

I'm sure there are other reasons and maybe people (like me for instance) just get older and find other things to do on Saturday's but if they're the "canary in the coal mine" things might be a bit darker going forward.  This was the die-hard of all die-hard fans who went to all home games, a couple of road games and all the bowls and now they've given up their tickets.  And FWIW this was a group featured in 2014 by John U Bacon in an article he posted on Yahoo sports as people who were still going to games in the depths of the Hoke era.

Interesting enough they are also hockey season ticket holders and recently purchased basketball season tickets too.  So it's not Michigan sports they've grown weary of supporting - it's Michigan football.

NYC Fan3

May 9th, 2018 at 10:37 AM ^

Hypothetical Single Game Scenario - Family of 4

Tickets - $75 * 4 = $300

Parking - $25

Food - $40

Gas - $10

It will cost that family $375 to watch a mid tier game.  That is a lot of money that could be spent on numerous other activities.  This isn't a Michigan issue, it's a college football issue.

Bando Calrissian

May 9th, 2018 at 10:51 AM ^

This is where my family is getting at this point. Doesn't have as much to do with wins and losses as it does how much work and displeasure it's become. Pretty sure once our day comes when the Blue Lot pass doesn't show up in the mail, our family could very likely give up the tickets we've had since the mid-70s. Seems like that's the last thing really anchoring our group. The in-stadium experience is getting to be a bit much, none of us like night games, we've got folks getting older, there are grandkids to spend time with...

And the simple fact that buying those tickets every year is probably going to be far too expensive for the next generation to maintain. The cost of getting in the door as a donor and holder of very good season tickets was a lot lower when my parents joined the Victors Club way back when--and there were only enough people in it to fill up a couple rows of parking. 40 years later, the few of those aging folks who are left are getting squeezed out by folks who donate more in one year than most of them could in a decade. We millennials can't keep up with that.

And, frankly, given how 1000SSS treats its donors at the lower end of the spectrum (as in, we don't care, you don't give enough anyway, take your free poster and be happy about it), why would we want to?

It's strange to think that fall revolved around Michigan Football for decades, and now, well, it doesn't seem that important anymore. Too many other things to enjoy, and the TV is right there.


May 9th, 2018 at 3:01 PM ^

What about the gameday experience is getting to be too much? I get night games aren't ideal for timing but for once a year to have an actual loud atmosphere seems worth it to me, every other fanbase has managed to figure it out.  If seats are getting too expensive I get but this idea that somehow the gameday experience is worse and not as enjoyable seems like a weird take.

Bando Calrissian

May 9th, 2018 at 5:40 PM ^

Too much canned music/sheer noise for noise sake when there's nothing going on, too many meatheads and drunk assholes, too much stand up/sit down/"UP IN BACK" arguments with StubHub buying morons who we never see again, $4 water when it's a thousand degrees, not enough MMB, too much commercialization and NFL-esque vibes... It's just not as fun to go to a game anymore.

Sorry if that seems like a weird take, but I'm hearing it more and more from people who have been going for decades. The entire atmosphere of the stadium has flipped, and for a lot of us, it isn't what we loved about the experience.


May 9th, 2018 at 8:13 PM ^

I think the atmosphere has changed a little but honestly Michigan stadium could use a lot more energy in the stands. I guess what you see as negatives is what I see as necessary to making Michigan stadium an actual atmosphere and not the wine and cheese quietest 100k you’ve ever heard it’s known as. A loud boisterous stadium is a better fan experience to me. It’s what makes it better than watching at home.

Bando Calrissian

May 9th, 2018 at 8:41 PM ^

But does "loud and boistrous" mean there has to be blasting sound end-to-end, even during commercial breaks when there's nothing going on?

Also, let's be honest here: Michigan Stadium has never wanted for noise when it's been warranted. People just choose to believe the "wine and cheese" myth, when you couldn't hear yourself think, say, for most of the big moments of 1997. When noise was needed, it was provided. 


May 9th, 2018 at 8:57 PM ^

Michigan can get loud, it just rarely does. That shows the problem is the fan base not the stadium design like people blame it on. Sure I think some games have too much piped in music could use more band etc but that vacillates from year to year and is more effective at getting the stadium loud (best example is nd night game). Guess it’s just a difference of opinion but I think it’s a good thing to try to get the atmosphere more consistently loud. Wine and cheese is pretty accurate for the Michigan fan base 99% of the time.

Cereal Killer

May 9th, 2018 at 8:42 PM ^

But take the money out of the equation, if I lived in AA, I would be at every game.  Even the Oregon States and Cincinnatis.  Bought my season tickets in Harbaugh Year 1, getting in on the ground floor.  We go to 2 or 3 games per year and sell the rest on Stubhub.  It's 4 hours each way for us.  It would be super easy to just watch on TV, but I am just really addicted to the game experience.  Walking around town before the game.  We are early arrivers in the stadium, usually 45 minutes before kickoff.  Love watching the stadium start to fill up.  Watching the players from both teams getting loose.  And the BAND!!!   Whenever I give my tickets to someone, I make them promise to be in their seats 20 minutes before kickoff, so they can experience the band.

My son plays soccer for his HS, and that and other things get in the way of attending from time to time.  A couple of years ago, the Saturday of the Hawaii game was free, but its Hawaii, so I was going to sell, but my son insisted that we go.  I resisted, but he won.  After the band finished and the players had run out and touched the banner, I told my son that he was right and I was so glad we came.  There is nothing like being in that town and stadium on game day.  It is the greatest.


May 9th, 2018 at 5:57 AM ^

Support the team at every game. Schedule nor current record plays zero part in my attendance. Nor selling tickets to make a buck to the opposition. Go Blue!!!


May 9th, 2018 at 6:24 AM ^

What about renewals? Without knowing that, can’t the simple explanation be that those who want tickets have them?

2017: Michigan sucks because they make you donate so much for tickets.
2018: LOL, nobody wants to see them anyway.


May 9th, 2018 at 7:25 AM ^

People watch Transformers movies.
The QB poo poo platter last year was irresistible.

This year does not promise grisly thrills. Out fans are only happy when they're unhappy.

Year of Revenge II

May 9th, 2018 at 7:30 AM ^

Massage the numbers any way you want to, if the 2018 Michigan team lives up to its tremendous potential, or even comes close, the bottom line for demand for Michigan football tickets is that it is going to be a VERY tough ticket to come by at a reasonable price.  

I may take someone to a game who has never been there, or I may go to a home or away game with my buddy from college, snackyx.  Other than that, the games are more enjoyable at the bar, or at home.  

While the game didn't mean much, I don't ever see how I can top the stadium experience of Under the Lights, and I saw Desmond's game-ending catch against ND back in the day.  If it is a meaninful bowl game, or the playoff, I'm in for personally attending no matter where it is.

814 East U

May 9th, 2018 at 7:34 AM ^

Wait until they have to start begging millenials to show up once the baby boomers stop going. It will be an ugly scene across the country for college football. 

I am a millenial with season tickets. However, I don't see myself keeping tickets when friends and family members stop renewing.