No Second MSU Game At Yost This Year

Submitted by Brian on August 12th, 2014 at 11:54 AM

We found out why the first Michigan State hockey series was "TBA" yesterday, when it was announced that the two teams would play an outdoor game in Chicago. There are about 50,000 reasons that's a questionable decision—as in the number of people who won't be at this who would if it was on either campus.

Michigan is due to get two home games against State this year, Michigan and MSU have a contract to play at the Joe annually, and the other MSU game is still ominously "TBA":


I just called the ticket office, and they said they were told that the January 30th game is at the Joe.

I, like a lot of season ticket holders, have already renewed my season tickets, and now I am informed that a game against Michigan's biggest rival is going to be in Chicago. This is how you lose people forever, Dave Brandon. But I'm sure the one-time benefit from playing in Chicago is more important than not making your season ticket holders feel like saps. Clueless. This athletic department is clueless.



August 12th, 2014 at 12:45 PM ^

The AD keeps making stupid decisions, and should continue to be made to look stupid for these stupid decisions. Keep on keepin on, Brian.

It's kind of amazing, really. The more pressure mounts on the AD for their tradition-destroying money-grubbing, the more money-grubbing they become, all while trying to pass it off with increasingly thin veneers of "but.. but... but... the people want this!!!"


August 12th, 2014 at 12:48 PM ^

This whole arguement reeks of "I never left AA so I should be treated better."  Michigan is a national university with an international alumni base and that reach is one of the reasons we are a top school.  Our goal has always been to play bowl games in Pasenda and we've measured ourselves not by regional success but national success.

With the B1G hockey conference having come to pass we have no shortage of quality conference games.  Replace those small MAC schools, Lake Superior State, etc with Wisconsin and Minnesota.  Now we get to see them every year in person in places not called Frozen Four.  

So one State game held in Chicago as a premier event that hopefully draws the VIP treatment from the BTN, if not a larger network, is far from 100% the worst thing ever.  Not to mention a Michigan graduate should have the resources to make it from Ann Arbor to Chicago for one game out of the year.  It's the hub of the region.  Catch a show, do some shopping, visit some Zagat rated places.  Make an overnight trip out of it, make a couple day trip out of it, etc.  


August 12th, 2014 at 12:59 PM ^

The argument is that you can't charge people for season tickets, make them pay, then take away one of the 2 or 3 most appealing games on the schedule.

It sucks they're playing State in Chicago but its really not that big of a deal compared to what the bait-and-switch does to the value of the season tickets.


August 12th, 2014 at 1:01 PM ^

The issue is that season ticket holders are necessarily people within driving distance of A2 and they're the ones filling the stadiums. To take one of the best home games away after tickets were already purchased, is skeezy at best.

Plus, I'd say most season ticket holders will respond unfavorably if you say "Hey we took one of the MSU games and put it in Chicago. Yeah, I know we said it was discounted but you are a Michigan alum aren't you? Drive yourself to Chicago and stay there for a weekend for only a few hundred dollars."


August 12th, 2014 at 1:12 PM ^

Look, I'd be thrilled if they moved a Michigan home game to Duluth, so I could take my kids. And one of the reasons I like the move to B1G hockey is that I'm guaranteed a chance to see them close by every year.

But that doesn't mean it doesn't stink for the A2 locals. Should they get some priority? You bet they should. Alton has been attending hockey games since before the tournament streak started. People who pay three and four figures are invested. They support the team. They get dressed and park and walk carefully over ice-covered sidewalks and cheer even when it's a February game against Penn State the night after Michigan choked away a lead in awful fashion.

Is their opinion more important than mine? Yes. And it should be.


August 12th, 2014 at 3:15 PM ^

So a public apology from the staff member who went through one of the toughest events one must go through is the same to you as if Brian had just said "shipped these out later cause I made more money if I did, dolla dolla bills ya'll". How can you not see the difference here?


August 12th, 2014 at 12:57 PM ^

Its appalling that they intentionally bait-and-switched their customers, there is no reason that they couldn't have announced this in advance, or at least been up front about losing a big game against MSU.  Its inexcuaable.

Consider that this effectively means that the tickets have increased in price coming off the program's 2 worst seasons in 20 years.  Thats also bad business.

I have friends who WANT to take their kids to Michigan hockey games but since its such an expensive ticket and Yost isn't exactly easy to get to for a 7PM (not to mention 6:30) from metro detroit they find themselves going to Whalers games instead.  Whats the difference to a 5 year old?  The difference to the parents is 100 bucks or so and a lot less driving.

Michigan hockey's popularity isn't a given, especially when you treat your current customers like shit and price out future customers.

One last thing, people who can't get to Yost like going to the Joe and taking that away in lieu of the B10 championship hurts fan accessibility long-term as well.

This whole thing has been grossly mismanaged.


August 12th, 2014 at 2:45 PM ^

Nothing confirmed but the email I recieved with the announcement stated that fans/ticket holders of the team would be offered a "special buying opportunity".  I'm guessing no...

Will be interesting to see as the "special admission" price is $11 for both games. 


August 12th, 2014 at 3:09 PM ^

If the athletic dept. had included the Chicago ticket as a charge in the season ticket package, I would see it as a much, MUCH bigger problem.  I do sympathize with folks who were banking on seeing 2 home games at Yost against the Spartans.  Sucks. 


August 12th, 2014 at 4:39 PM ^

Uh, it was a charge. The purchase price was supposed to include 2 state home games. Now it only includes one, with the option of paying extra for a ticket and driving to Chicago to see the game you already paid for.



August 12th, 2014 at 12:59 PM ^

I like the assertion that DB is "clueless."   DB is conducting "business as usual," doing what has been successful for him in his career.  He is a typical MANBALL guy in business.  He amasses power and uses it to create more power and more money.  His attititude is apparently "I have what they want, I am going to make them pay and nobody can stop me."

DB is great at amassing money for the short term.  Unfortunately, he is indeed "clueless" about the long-term conseuences of alienating customers.  DB has raised prices and milked the market for what it is worth.  Now, he needs to understand that he is rapidly approaching the point of diminishing returns.  

But he doesn't understand.  He just thinks everyone will keep paying what he tells them to for what he puts out.  David Brandon needs to be fired before the damage he is doing to the program becomes irreparable. 

Wolverine Devotee

August 12th, 2014 at 1:00 PM ^

Brian, I'm 1000% with you.

This is idiotic. Death to neutral site hockey, for one. Two, putting an in-state rivalry game in ILLINOIS....cumong man.

DB didn't check himself, thus wrecking himself.


August 12th, 2014 at 1:01 PM ^

Yes, it's taking a game away but you're ticket is still good.  You just have to drive 3 hours.  You've seen hundreds of games in Yost.  How often do you get to see The Sacred Precious play MSU at Soldier Field?  If you can't make it then sell the ticket and watch on tv.  Just doesn't seem like the end of the world to me.

And I tend to think different venues like that are good for the program overall.  Exposure and all that.  And lots of alumni over there.  I would think we could double the spartoons turn out.


August 12th, 2014 at 1:29 PM ^

"Yes, it's taking a game away but you're ticket is still good.  You just have to drive 3 hours."


Great! So the money that people spent on tickets just went up a lot more because now, in addition to the ticket they already paid for, they have to pay for gas, food, and quite possibly lodging, instead of having the game at Yost like everyone expected. That's a bait and switch. And that's bullshit.

SF Wolverine

August 12th, 2014 at 1:17 PM ^

DB really seems to overestimate how hard he can push the core support group for UM Athletics.  As the students showed in response to the stupid student ticket policy, these people can turn, turn fast, and turn in numbers. 

You want to do a game against Sparty in Chicago, great.  Do it next year, let everyone know, and pump people up for it.  Give your season ticket holders something special -- perhaps  FREE tickets to that game.  And be transparent about it. 


DB is repeatedly making, in my view, the classic mistake of customer service -- trying to reach out for new customers without thinking of your best, most loyal customers, or even doing things to their detriment.  In my business, they say that 80% of your new business comes from your existing clients.  DB would be wise to take that into account.  And, while you are at it, try not to screw up your "natural" new clients -- undergrads.  INVEST in them, and they will be with you a long, long time.    


August 12th, 2014 at 1:20 PM ^

Firstly, I live in Chicago's NW 'burbs so I am happy this is happening. That said, if I were a season ticket holder, I would be upset mostly because it's a main rival. I can see how this game should be against Wisco, ND or Minnesota. I would still attend any of these games. I can't tell you how jealous I am of you who can go to Yost on a regular basis. It's on my bucket list but I don't see me attending a Yost game any time soon. When UIC was part of the CCHA, UM used to come to Chicago. That hasn't happened in a long time. The only UM game I've seen was the NCAA regional in Ft. Wayne a few years back. The atmosphere was great. I cannot imagine what Yost must be like. I'm wondering what it will be like in the Great Saucer of an NFL stadium. It's too bad they're not playing in the United Center. For those of you planning to attend, from out-of-state, you're welcome to crash at my place. I have a guest room and a loft. We can take Metra downtown and take the bus to Soldier Field (or drive).


August 12th, 2014 at 1:26 PM ^

Is there a place/forum where we can collectively express our feelings to the AD?  Serious question, and trying to avoid having everyone make a phone call/send an email?


August 12th, 2014 at 1:27 PM ^

Can someone now do the analysis of cost per game this year vs. last year for season tickets. A big deal was made that the price of season tickets was dropping this year. I'm just wondering now that we have a full picture of the schedule what that actually means.