Are season tickets a dying business model?

Submitted by Ron_Lippitt on July 27th, 2015 at 11:06 AM

Hey all:

I gave up my season tix when I moved to Chicago for my career in the 90's.  Truth be told, it was one of the hardest decisions of my life.  The very idea of Michigan Football not being a permanent fixture in my life.  My not seeing the same smiling faces every week -- it felt foreign.  Even disloyal.  But my family came first so I let go of the tix. 

Fast forward to today, I'm back in the Detroit area, and I'm frequently asked if I have season tickets -- and where do I sit?  My answer is always the same.  "I go when I like.  I sit where i want."  The StubHub mobile app has changed the game for me.  Entirely. 

With the mobile app, I can: 

  • Assess a wide swath of available tickets in the days leading up to the game and choose as I like based on my needs (i.e. How many? What seats? Etc.)
  • Remove the commitment of purchasing whole seasons when I know quite well I won't be able to attend all the games
  • Remove the scalper interaction and the threat of "invalid" tix
  • And if you're slightly daring (I usually am), you can show up on game day morning and purchase last second tix at a fraction of the cost 

The only hurdle to the StubHub strategy is the necessity to print the tickets.  I'm told the Michigan Stadium attendants will soon be able to scan your smartphone, but for now -- there are several FedEx/Kinkos to choose from. 

So other than getting to know the people around my season tickets, and having the (perceived) comfort that comes from already having tickets to each game, tell me what the advantage is to purchasing tickets ahead of time in the long-run?  Am I the only one who has completely switched his thinking on this?





July 27th, 2015 at 11:10 AM ^

You used the possesive determiner with the gerund. Well done. 


Also: I completely agree. It seems like the season tickets + PSLs+ concessions+travel headache means that season tickets seem less and less worth it. 


July 27th, 2015 at 11:17 AM ^

You used 'determiner' as an equally acceptable replacement for 'determinative'. Well done.

  1. determiner (also called determinative) is a word, phrase or affix that occurs together with a noun or noun phrase and serves to express the reference of that noun or noun phrase in the context.
Also: I completely agree - stubhub or other source of individual game tickets is much more convenient and less expensive in the long run.


July 27th, 2015 at 11:53 AM ^

Still, I did appreciated the grammar lesson. Not one I remember from my public school education. It will we noted and utilized.


Edit: Now I'm confused. He wrote, "And if you're slightly daring." Shouldn't it be: And if your slightly daring. If your is the possessive of you, that would be correct, right?


July 27th, 2015 at 12:36 PM ^

Scruffy was commenting on Ron_Lippitt's use of a possesive determiner with the gerund. After researching what that was, I surmised we was pointing out the use of "daring" as a gerund. To use the possessive noun (pronoun in this case), would one use your as the possessive of you, instead of you're (you are)?

Or did I just totaly miss this and he was citing a different example.

The Mad Hatter

July 27th, 2015 at 11:12 AM ^

season tickets, mainly because my schedule doesn't allow me to attend more than one or two home games each year.  We're contemplating a move to A2 (or nearby) in a couple years so our daughter can live at home while attending Michigan.  I'll probably buy her student section tickets while she's there and just sit with her.

If I ever retire, I will absolutely be getting season tickets.  I think if you're planning on attending at least 1/2 the games then season tickets are a good idea.  Anything less and you're better buying them on the secondary market.  

The Mad Hatter

July 27th, 2015 at 12:37 PM ^

if she ever sets foot in a frat house.

As to your post below, yes, in my opinion paying her rent is equivalent to paying for her to party.  She's more than welcome to move out and live anywhere she would like as long as she pays for it herself.

Compared to many kids today I think the fact that she's getting the opportunity to attend Michigan and graduate debt free is pretty great.  



July 27th, 2015 at 1:04 PM ^

His daughter might be the "nerdy-type" (meant in the book smarts, no real desire for partying sense and not with a negative connotation).  If that's the case, she may not mind.  My cousin was like that, and she lived with her parents and had a decent college experience.  If I ran into her at a frat house or even at the bar, even if I was stone-cold sober, I would check to make sure I wasn't hallucinating.  I would've been a little surprised to see her at a game, but I would've been slightly less surprised to see her at a game with her parents.

With respect to me, on the other hand, I couldn't imagine how much living at my parents' house would've ruined my game, let alone my college experience.  It may seem cringe worthy to many (including myself) to contemplate your parents attending games in the student section with you, but that's not the case for various students at UM.  My parents even suggested I move home to save money during grad school.  That made me laugh.  I gladly took out $46K for living expenses over the three years.


July 27th, 2015 at 10:57 PM ^

This was a fun read. It sounds like the daughter has all of the perks. Stay out a couple nights a week, crash at friends places, enjoy the social scene, etc and live with parents most nights throughout the week and not have to pay any rent. Your daughter could just use your house for when she needs something, and ignore it when she wants. You might need to rethink your approach. I understand having rules in your house for people living there. The mandatory sit with dad during football games is extreme. I could be on your side if you dropped that part of it

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July 27th, 2015 at 2:10 PM ^


How disappointing that you think that way.  Why not just let your daughter enjoy the college experience?  Why try and control her actions by holding money over her head?  


It's awesome that you're paying for college and giving her a place to live, seriously it is, but you shouldn't in-turn try and control what she does because of it.

The Mad Hatter

July 27th, 2015 at 2:19 PM ^

It's about money.  I can afford to pay for her classes, books, etc.  At present, I cannot afford to pay for all of that plus her living expenses at a separate residence.

I am about the most laid back parent you'll ever encounter.  Keep your grades up, don't get caught doing anything awful, and you can do pretty much whatever you want.

I have no interest in controlling her actions.


July 27th, 2015 at 2:37 PM ^

"I have no interest in controlling her actions"


Saying if she lives at home with you then she can't go to parties isn't controlling her actions?  Or saying that she has to sit next to dad at football games?


I get the point you're making about not being able to pay for everything, and that's totally a legit and fair point.  But it sure sounds, from what you've said, that you're actually interested in controlling some of her actions.


EDIT: I may have misread your posts a bit.  Sounds like you don't care if she goes to parties, just that you think if you pay for her rent elsewhere you're paying for her to party.  Apologizes.

Gentleman Squirrels

July 27th, 2015 at 11:45 AM ^

Take it from someone who's living at home while attending Michigan, it's a major pain. It's much harder to make friends when you're not living in the dorms your freshman year and there are far more limitations to where you can go and how late you can stay out. Commuting, in particular, gets really tough in the winter months. There are pros of course of staying at home, but I've always felt the cons outweigh the pros.

If you want your daughter to stay at home for financial reasons (as is my case) that's fine, but if it's just because you want her to stay at home, I'd recommend against it. 


July 27th, 2015 at 4:31 PM ^

Minus the insinuation, he's simply saying -

"Hey, daughter... I am paying your books and tuition."

So if it's a money thing, then what's the issue?  

Bando Calrissian

July 27th, 2015 at 2:01 PM ^

Guy thinks paying for school means he's paying for his ticket to tag along and make sure dear Susie doesn't get herself into trouble... I.E., "I'm afraid of my adult child being asked to make adult decisions." Hilarious and sad.

Bando Calrissian

July 27th, 2015 at 3:10 PM ^

Going with what you're telling us.

"She can sit next to her dad at a football game." Because if there's one place an adult college student wants their parent when they're in the student section, it's the student section.

"Paying for her dorm room is paying for her partying." Because putting a girl, say, on a substance-free floor in female-only Barbour or Newberry is paying for her partying. 

"I can't afford it. Therefore, she has no choice but to live at home." Because no kid ever took out a loan to pay for school. Or got a job to pay for their living expenses. Ever.

What it really sounds like is that you're afraid of your kid leaving the nest, in combination with your desire to vicariously live her college experience at Michigan, perhaps because you never got to yourself.

"Cool, Dad. You've been following us all day. Can I go hang out with my friends now, like a normal college student?"

"I'm paying for it, but if you must... Remember, the car for home leaves at 8:30."

Indiana Blue

July 27th, 2015 at 11:30 PM ^

the appropriate time and place to use the word "FUCK" ?

Do yourself and your daughter a favor .... be a trusting parent.  If you and your spouse have raised her with the ability to judge situations and establish her own expectations, she'll be fine.  For God's sake man - do NOT expect her to have her father in the student section with her!   If you cannot afford to have her in the dorms - fine, but one of the most valuable lessons to be learned in college is the ability to fend for yourself (without parental involvement).  Your presence beside her in the student section would be the worst thing you could do.  Go tailgate and invite your daughter to bring her friends and share a football Saturday together in that spirit - expecting her to want you to sit with her is beyond reality.

Go Blue! 


July 27th, 2015 at 2:05 PM ^

Lived in NE Atlanta and commuted to GT.  My parents did not charge me rent, paid for board, books, and courses (the ones I passed), and $200 for gas per month.  Anything beyond that was on me.  I am not socially awkward by any means, but the frat houses and bar scene just isn't me, so I had no problem spending the better part of my days on the campus before heading home and back the next day.  I graduated debt free, and very soon after that got my first job and my own place closer to the perimeter, because, well, I could easily afford it with an added peace of mind due to the lack of student debt hanging over me.  It was definitly worth sacrificing some freedom and leeway for 5.5 years (yes it took me 5.5 years to get out) than to scrape by during that time just to feel like I could do whatever, whenever.

As far as attending football games go, I got student tickets my first three years, which were 05-07, but when we hired PJ we started getting season tickets.  Once I graduated my dad made me pay for my portion.  As long as PJ keeps us relevant, we'll keep getting them.