Football Ticket Prices Increase Again

Submitted by Brian on March 30th, 2012 at 4:56 PM

[press release]

Michigan Athletics Announces Ticket Prices for 2012 Football Season

ANN ARBOR – The University of Michigan Athletic Department announced Friday (March 30) the ticket pricing levels for the 2012 football season. The six-game home slate will cost $390 per ticket.

“We appreciate the contribution our fans make to our football program and Michigan Athletics through their commitment every Saturday at the Big House,” said Dave Brandon, the Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics. “The financial support we receive from our fans provides us with critical resources we need to create outstanding academic and athletic experiences for our student-athletes across all of our 29 sports. Our fans passion for Michigan Football is unparalleled.”

Individual game tickets will be priced at $75 per ticket for games against Air Force (Sept. 8), Massachusetts (Sept. 15), Illinois (Oct. 13), Northwestern (Nov. 10) and Iowa (Nov. 17). The Michigan State game on Oct. 20 has been designated as a premium game and individual tickets for that contest will be priced at $95 per seat.

This is the second straight year that Michigan has moderately increased season ticket prices after keeping prices constant for the seven years prior to the 2011 season.

“We benchmarked our ticket prices against our peers and other comparable football venues and we have concluded that these prices will bring us closer to current industry standards,” said Brandon.

The athletic department will also offer ticket packs to accommodate fan interest in partial season ticket packages. Ticket packs and individual game tickets will go on sale in July.

To purchase a wheelchair accessible football season ticket, please email the ticket office at [email protected] or call (734) 764-0247 or (866) 296-MTIX (6849).

Season ticket renewal packages will be available in early April.



March 30th, 2012 at 11:59 PM ^

These four game packages are the biggest ripoff of them all. A few years ago they offered the "All In" packages that gave fans a break on ticket prices for the whole season. The four game packages charge you full face value for every game. I can see why Brandon is holding back on selling season tickets and forcing these packages on everyone, but it's still wrong.

Maize and Blue…

March 31st, 2012 at 2:01 PM ^

I had the All In package both years it was offered.  I made the mistake of thinking my university would take this into consideration when they decided to do away with it in favor of the money grabbing 4 game packs that DB instituted last year.  I was told that I could order my four game pack the same time as the rest of the general public.  I guess to the university "loyalty" is a one way street.


April 1st, 2012 at 3:18 PM ^

How is DB holding back on selling season tickets?  Season tickets are available to anyone on the priority points list, last I knew.  In fact, over the past couple years, lots of people (including myself) have been surprised at how few points it took to receive a renewable season ticket offer.  If the waiting list has been satisfied and eliminated, what else should be done?

As others in this thread have previously noted, the season ticket price equates to an average of about $65/ticket.  To me, that says you get a price break of you buy season tickets.

The "All In" packages filled a specific need for the University, allowing fans to have season tickets without obligating the University to renew them (at a time when the AD was banking seats due to stadium renovations and impending capacity reduction).

(At this point, I'll resist the urge to offer my unrelated comments on the abundance of unused ADA-compliant seating areas.)

In closing, I suspect the anecdotal depletion of the season ticket waiting list is a fair indicator of the trend in season ticket renewals.  DB is reaching the point where he's turning people off and they're choosing not to renew.

But look on the bright side: as least he doesn't do it like a dick (see: Mark Hollis).

lexus larry

April 2nd, 2012 at 9:41 AM ^

I think the waiting list fee, along with the "packages" or "single game" tickets that pop up out there, seems to indicate that those who desire season ticket packages are being "used" or overlooked or whatever you want to suggest is happening.

Also, given the fact that quite a few seats in non-opposing fan seating seem to go to MSU or OSU fans, it would seem that season ticket packages are being sold to people who have no qualms selling their tickets for those games, regardless.  (Of course, that's their prerogative...annoying as it may seem.)


March 30th, 2012 at 7:38 PM ^

Based on what I heard about people buying on secondary markets last season, the $95 "premium" game is definitely not too high.  People in my section (35) claimed to pay around 200 for the Ohio game and even more for UTL.  Now, $75 for UMass?  Yeah...that's overpriced.  It's basically subsidizing the true market value of the premium game though.  Would people be happier if the face value were $30 or so for the lesser games and closer to what scalpers/stubhub ask for the premium games?  I think that pricing disparity at face value would cause a lot more grumbling.  Obviously everyone would rather pay less for these games, but the demand clearly is still very high for premium games, so that's going to pull up the prices for other games.


March 31st, 2012 at 12:09 PM ^

You could buy season tickets and sell the games you aren't interested in. Even under face value you'd probably make more than $70 back. And it would cost more in a good schedule year, but you could sell the other tickets for more too. We live in a brave new world of legalized scalping through the U and stubhub.


April 1st, 2012 at 3:46 PM ^

I sold several games on StubHub last year (since I live out of the area and sat with friends for most of the games I attended), and at no time did I receive face value ($70) for the non-premium games (even before paying the 15% StubHub commission):

ND $214 ea

EMU $30 ea (to friends; StubHub was even lower)

SDSU $50 ea

Minn $60 ea

Purdue $60 ea

Nebraska: $79 ea (face $85)

I also tried to "package" the crap games with premium games, with no takers.

With only one premium game, this year is going to royally suck.



April 1st, 2012 at 7:29 PM ^

It was confusing because my math sucked. He paid $420 for two games. Season tix this year are $390. (I thought he paid $320, but that was wrong. So actually for $30 less than he paid for two games he could see the whole season....and pocket all the games he didn't want to go to. Even with two more games last year, at $480, you showed he could have recouped the $60 pretty easily. Then, profit.

The FannMan

April 2nd, 2012 at 12:35 PM ^

Blue Fish - one quesion for you.  When you go to Stub Hun to sell, is there anyway you can control who you sell to?  It seemed that there were a lot of visiting fans who were in the season ticket holder's area.  This was especially true for the OSU game.  I assume that this happened through Stub Hub.  I am just wondering if how it all works and if there is anyway that you can controll who ends up in your seats.


April 2nd, 2012 at 6:46 PM ^

Once they're up for sale, anyone can buy them.

The OSU fan attendance in 2009 was a different story, likely attributable to the availability of the "All In" packages (as well as reduced expectations for the team).  All an Ohio fan had to do that year was purchase the package, which was probably a bargain for The Game.  They could then sell the other tickets to recoup some funds.

In general, I suspect the anecdotal phenomenon you describe is partly due to the rising price of attendance (parking, ticket price, and PSD).  Some fans may be staying home and watching the non-premium games on TV and hoping to recoup money by selling those tickets.  But again, you can't control who buys them on StubHub.  Most local fans are content to take their chances at the stadium (in a buyer's market), but out-of-towners probably want more assurance that they'll get in.

M Fanfare

March 30th, 2012 at 8:12 PM ^

Until the stadium is half empty for a game (leaving the Athletic Department no reasonable claim to having over 100,000 people at the game), the prices will stay high and go even higher. Simple as that, I'm afraid.


March 30th, 2012 at 9:21 PM ^

There are going to be a few games that are going to be embarassingly empty. Or unusually comfortable, with room to sprawl out your legs and arms, whichever you prefer to call it. 


March 30th, 2012 at 10:31 PM ^

DB has a right to raise prices to what the market will bear, and premium games should draw premium prices (100 is a lot, but then I regularly paid more than that to scalp in ten years ago. Of course I paid $15 or $20 for singles to EMU, too).

I think the argument in favor is that there are a lot of people who will say, "less than $400 for an entire season of joy," and that's not totally inaccurate.

But I think they're getting awfully close to danger here. This is one of the reasons RR had to go--if people don't see progress, they're not paying this kind of $$.


March 30th, 2012 at 10:39 PM ^

....before Michigan has any marked trouble selling out the Big House, and the only thing that they could point to is exactly the thing we celebrate and revere often here - the relative success of our football program through the years. A vast, active alumni/ alumnae base and student body and devoted fans of both the team and NCAA football in general know exactly where Stadium Boulevard and South Main meet. 

That history and tradition has created a situation where demand for just about anything from t-shirts to tickets - so long as it is Michigan - is pretty inelastic. Like a few staples in  everyday life, you would have to see some pretty outrageous increases before a significant portion of the population (in this case,  fans who attend games - season ticket holders, single game, packages...however they do it) changed their habits. Not sure exactly what the elasticity is, but I bet we're not at "breakpoint" yet.

"Industry standards"? I am curious as to what this is - I don't know enough about how athletic departments benchmark themselves. There are not many teams in Michigan's position when it comes to what it can potentially price itself at and see no significant decrease in demand for the product. 



Perkis-Size Me

March 30th, 2012 at 11:17 PM ^

I'm amazed the MSU game isn't more expensive. But really, I think its going to take a lot of price increasing before there's any noticeable impact on attendance.

As we all know, this is Michigan fergodsakes. People will still pay to see these games, whether the price is $50 or $200. If I was in DB's shoes, I wouldn't have qualms about increasing ticket prices if I knew I could get away with it.


March 31st, 2012 at 1:55 AM ^

A Michigan game gives you the best bang for your buck. The way Hoke is recruiting, I'm sure $100.00 per ticket would be worth it in the near future. Tickets for the Michigan vs Alabama game are running $200.00 to $2,000.00 on stub hub. I'm still tempted to go...but I'd be happier seeing the team play in the big house for $75.00 or $100.00 per ticket.


March 31st, 2012 at 6:10 AM ^

I cant beleive that they are increasing prices with this home schedule.  This will be my fourth year with season tickets and the price per game has gone up EVERY year.    When will it stop?  Is parking gonna go up again this year to?


March 31st, 2012 at 12:00 PM ^

DB knows he can raise prices all he wants and all the season ticket holder can do is pay up or give up. Not many choices there. I have had 4 season tickets for 22 years and 3 years ago I bought season 4 season tickets for basketball. Well I have endured 3 ticket increases in 2 years plus basketball preferred seating plan. DB thanks the fans for their support but what is he doing for the fans? He is running some right out of the stadium. I don't have the income to support this university anymore than I have. So long time support gets nothing from the university but "Oh well, so long". It was nice while it lasted.

Soooo long.


March 31st, 2012 at 7:04 AM ^

It's a mixed bag.  I'm not happy paying $100 a ticket to watch a bunch of scrub teams play.  Please, let's get rid of the MAC teams.  On the other hand I realize Michigan can not play top ten teams every week either.


March 31st, 2012 at 7:36 AM ^

I could get 10 for a ticket and not lose too much. No for a lousy game I pay 75 and stll maybe get 10 to fill the stands. These prices demand perfection by the team and minimal mess ups maintained year after year. Don't forget your grades as you play to entertain me.


March 31st, 2012 at 7:37 AM ^

I could get 10 for a ticket and not lose too much. No for a lousy game I pay 75 and stll maybe get 10 to fill the stands. These prices demand perfection by the team and minimal mess ups maintained year after year. Don't forget your grades as you play to entertain me.


March 31st, 2012 at 9:30 AM ^

I just paid $225 per ticket to see The Book of Mormon on Broadway in NYC (by the creators of South Park). These seats are 3 rows from the back wall in the balcony. Some seats go for $450 face value. The show is sold out going into 2013. Supply and demand.


April 1st, 2012 at 4:13 PM ^

Capacity of the Eugene O'Neill Theater (where you saw your show) is 1,102.  It's located on Broadway, in Manhattan, one the most expensive places to live and play in the country.  I suspect the average salaries are much higher, too.  I'm not sure we can draw too many applicable comparisons here.

But yes, supply and demand.  And perhaps a captive season ticket holder base.  Or at least limited choices (endure endless price increases...or refuse, lose the seats you've had for X years, and go to the end of the line if you want them again).


March 31st, 2012 at 1:13 PM ^

The problem is that if you have 4 seats on the 40 yard line, it will cost you $180 x 4 for the Sparty game. $720 to take a family of 4 to that game is getting to be a bit much. In 2003, it was $240 for that same game. If DB calls this keeping up with the market, he is dumber than I thought.


March 31st, 2012 at 2:59 PM ^

I'm sorry but I honestly don't care if they raise ticket prices. This is an elite program and university so they have to keep it that way. Brandon and Hoke have done such an excellent job that they deserve a little bit of a raise. I still want to see better out of conference teams come to the Big House and i have a feeling that is around the corner.


April 1st, 2012 at 12:22 PM ^

befuddles me.  You're saying total inflation has gone up 50% in the last twenty years?  I call shenanigans.


Gas 20 years ago < $1

Gas now ~ $4

Milk 20 years ago < $1/gal

Milk now ~$3/gal

Bag of Doritos 20 years ago <$1

Bag of Doritos now ~$4

Small sample size, I know, but I'm pretty sure you'll find that inflation has gone up nearly 2x since 20 years ago.  Don't buy the 3% a year (with a rotating "basket" of goods that can be manipulated to come out 3% at all times) that the fed reports.


April 1st, 2012 at 6:20 PM ^

While we're being random, in 1992 you could buy a Macintosh IIfx for only $9,000-$12,000, median household income is about the same as it was in the mid-90s, CDs are the same or cheaper, the Wendy's value menu is still 99 cents and if you don't feel like a frosty, you can trade it for 3 bedroom home in Detroit. 


March 31st, 2012 at 3:12 PM ^

If you have to choose between letting facilities and coaching salaries erode and paying a few more dollars, I think the choice is clear. Most are happy to pay for the pride that comes with our teams and facilities being on par with the best in the country.

Not only that, but after Jan 1, it's easy to predict that prices will rise, you know you don't have to buy them for another year, and can set aside $15-20/week and you're going to have enough for season tickets in April. If Michigan football is important to us, and obviously it is, it is worth paying for, and saving for. 

Black Socks

April 1st, 2012 at 11:30 AM ^

Dave Brandon is not raising prices.  The problem is that Federal Reserve Notes are decreasing in value.  This private group is reducing your purchasing power by inflating the currency.  

Ten years ago you could buy one season ticket for an ounce of gold, now it buys 4.3 season tickets.  So the price of tickets in "real" money is actually decreasing.  If you want a return to constitutional money I suggest you support the candidates advocating it.

Now, this is going to hurt the fans.  I have a feeling that there will be more and more empty seats.  Everyone wants to see a full big house every Saturday.


April 1st, 2012 at 11:16 PM ^

that everyone's formula for getting season tickets is different. It's gives the impression that the $500 donation is required annually for the oppritunity to continue buying season tickets at Michigan. We know this is not true, but I've heard it is at other schools.


April 1st, 2012 at 3:16 PM ^

per the bls $75 today equals $62.23 in 2004.  How much did we pay for tickets in 2004?  

If it's <$63.00 please stop your bitching.  If its > that, I'm an ass.


April 2nd, 2012 at 1:20 AM ^

Is this really this bad?  Michigan football is an elite sporting event.  It's not a Tuesday afternoon baseball game.  There are just a few of them every year, and if this blog tells us anything, it's that a lot of poeple are crazy about it.  Tickets to anything you love aren't overpriced if it's below triple digits.  And paying $390 for the season is also very reasonable, especially if you want to dump the games you aren't going to for $30 bucks each or something. 

Everyone wants the best facilities and the nicest stadium and everything else, but that all costs money.  All the nice things we have that attract our recruits cost money.  Greg Mattison costs money, as will his replacement one day.  Blog hits don't pay for these things, but ticket prices go a long way.

lexus larry

April 2nd, 2012 at 9:55 AM ^

1)  DB announces the price increases AFTER the PSD's are received, thus locking in the captive 70% to take this increase with no recourse or opportunity to keep the ticket purchase price within a previously established budget.

2)  DB sets the table for prices for NEXT YEAR to be increased by a significant margin...the argument being that the "per game price" WAS $65 in 2012, and there are more games, and more "premium" games scheduled.

Remember, you read it here first...

lexus larry

April 2nd, 2012 at 12:05 PM ^

Not to be too much of a conspiracy theorist, but the "official scalping op" known as StubHub...let's look at the number of tickets available for each game later this summer.  Knowing what a weak home sched we have, it won't pass the smell test (whereby the unusual/casual "fan" buys the season package solely for the "premium" game(s), whilst selling off the rest).  If there are seemingly thousands of seats available for most (if not all) 2012 home games, it may be that the AD has decided to maintian "exclusivity" by alloting hundreds or thousands of seats to StubHub, and continuing the sham of the "waiting list."

Should I visit Kroger to buy additional rolls of aluminum foil?