Basketball season ticket prices...wow

Submitted by VictorsValiant09 on September 24th, 2012 at 9:26 PM

So, I called the Ticket Office after work today about not receiving my renewal information in the mail, and when I realized it hadn't arrived yet, decided to check out renewing online.

Boy, was I surprised, expectations/renovations be damned: $560 to renew season tickets.  Is Dave Brandon for real?  Yes, yes he is.

Comments

Section 1

September 25th, 2012 at 11:57 AM ^

Because I am in substantial agreement with you.

But I might prefer saying, "adidas is not trying hard enough."  Because template uniforms are just so cheap.  Template styles look cheap, and make the program look cheap.  And the whole premise of the UMHoops disclosure is that we are bound to look a certain way because the other adidas template schools are looking a certain way.  And I suspect that UMHoops is right.

But back to old school Michigan uniforms.  Wouldn't it be nice to duplicate something that the players and fans like, from the football progam?  The Twin City M socks.  Not made by adidas (which must hack some folks off):

mGrowOld

September 24th, 2012 at 9:47 PM ^

"Basketball season ticket prices - Wow!"

I agree with the OP.  That is a steal for a team as good as project to be.  N. Carolina, for example, has season tickets starting at $1100 on StubHub right now.  

Wait....the OP thought the prices were too high?  Oh snap.

VictorsValiant09

September 24th, 2012 at 9:56 PM ^

Broken down like that, yes, it isn't too bad.  Then you throw in the NIT Tip-off, Big Ten/ACC game, and it softens the blow.

Still seems a bit much, im comparison to what I paid my first year as a season ticket holder last year.  I'm also in the Upper Bowl, still haven't changed locations.  Knocking off a hundred bucks would seem more reasonable.  I was too busy with football, hockey, and a million other things in undergrad, so I never got around to basketball then.

But hey, I want my Michigan Basketball, so I guess I pay it.  Ticket prices just keep going up and up.

Section 1

September 24th, 2012 at 10:46 PM ^

I know of several prime-location basketball season ticket holders who are giving them up.  I know of some high-priority courtside seat holders who have been stunned by the uptick in PSD requirements and who are rethinking their priorities.

Brandon, likewise, is looking to see what the market will bear.  No doubt.  So we will all see what the market will bear.

Tater

September 25th, 2012 at 12:46 AM ^

It's standard business.  If you care more about money than you do your customers, you keep raising prices until you go one increment past your maximum ROI, and then you roll prices back to the maximum ROI.

So, my quesiton is this: If it's all about the money, and it's OK to treat the "Michigan family" like cattle, then why are the players still called "amateurs?"

ccdevi

September 25th, 2012 at 12:12 AM ^

hate people complaining about prices, you dont want to pay, don't pay, but especially galling when they are in fact cheap, $25 a game, are you kidding me?

Bando Calrissian

September 25th, 2012 at 2:19 AM ^

Why is this surprising?  With the reseating and PSD implementation, it's clear Athletics wants to move in a direction of making basketball tickets a premium item they equate with the newly-renovated, premium facility and an on-court product that has been somewhat premium over the past few years, with what appears to be very promising days ahead.

The downside of this being the sheer valley of mediocrity it took to get here, with the crappy facility, sanctions, and godawful basketball longtime MBB season ticket holders have put up with for well over a decade.  Those folks (and our family is among them) forked out a pile of cash to watch the likes of Dani Wohl starting Division 1 college basketball games.  

The point is that Athletics may not be wrong to take this step, but let's face it, it's a department that has never excelled at doing things in a way that doesn't rub the wrong people (i.e., the people who paid their bills for multiple decades) the wrong way.  And it's a department that seems determined to find exactly what the ceiling for ticket prices and mandatory donations across all revenue sports to squeeze every last dollar out of the fanbase.   And the secondary danger is if the success on the court doesn't match expectations.  Empty seats, low renewal rates, and we're back to square one again.

Section 1

September 25th, 2012 at 7:27 AM ^

You summed it up better than I did.

In posts above you and below, I see people mistaking the issue.  If you want to pay $28 and go to a game and sit anywhere and yell, you can do that.  You've always been able to do that.  Usually, you've been able to go to games and scalp tickets for $10 (for lesser games) or $40 (for the big games).

But that's not the big price hike for this year.  This year, what the Athletic Department has done is to reshuffle all of the season ticket priority, basing it not on patrons' loyalty and renewal of past subscriptions but on an all-new PSD program at some eye-popping numbers.

Kilgore Trout

September 25th, 2012 at 10:27 AM ^

It will be interesting to see how this goes.  I agree with Bando that it was a serious risk to alienate all of those fans that sat through the last decade plus of bad basketball.  There are several season ticket holders in the Ann Arbor Municiple Golf League and this came up a lot this summer.  A significant amount of them didn't renew or chose not to pay the PSD for the premium seats that they'd been sitting in for literally decades.  These are multiple decade long season ticket holders who were in Minneapolis and New Orleans for Final Fours.  Maybe this year they will sell those to excited fans, but I'm not confident they can keep it going.  I've been a season ticket holder since '88 and the reality is that Michigan has never consistently sold out basketball games.  Even during the Fab Five, it was pretty easy to get tickets.

In my mind, they anticipated big demand this year and adjusted accordingly.  It'll be interesting to see if they really get the demand they anticipated.  When it came time to chose seats, we were number 180 something in line, and we moved down a priority level because of the PSD.  I was shocked that only 180 people were ahead of us in line, because based on just seat location, there are at least a couple thousand "better" seats than ours.  I know the formula considered other factors, but I was still really surprised.  I think the demand will be pretty questionable.

But, again, I think the real gamble is alienating these fans.  Once someone who has been hooked on something finally breaks and stops shelling out the cash, they start to realize that life goes on without going to all those games and it's kind of nice to get a break.  They may not be willing to jump right back in when the product gets questionable and demand falls, so they lower prices.  College ticket prices are a bubble that is bound to burst.  I think it's going to be really interesting what happens when it does.

StephenRKass

September 25th, 2012 at 6:28 AM ^

25 per game doesn't seem that bad to me. I'm like most people:  cheap is good, and free is better. But the facilities aren't free, and this team is built to compete.

I can't claim to know Brandon's mind. However, I think there's a difference between "wringing absolutely every dollar possible" out of Michigan fans and "being in the ballpark." The reality is that Michigan tickets have probably been way underpriced for a long time. I don't think anyone should be guaranteed an on-going under-priced ticket. The exception would be students:  I'd rather see non-students pay a lot more so students can pay a lot less. (and I've been out of school a long time.)

jonny_GoBlue

September 25th, 2012 at 8:30 AM ^

The reality is that Michigan tickets have probably been way underpriced for a long time.

I don't think you've been paying attention to the population of the upper bowl for the past decade. Sure it's better now, but that is 1 populous year after an almost decade long span of deserts.

snarling wolverine

September 25th, 2012 at 11:54 AM ^

Relative to our competition, they have been very cheap.  At the same time, Crisler long had a reputation as one of the worst venues in the Big Ten (which I thought was overblown, but that's what it was), so that discouraged some people from attending.  The Ed Martin scandal and the fact that we pretty much de-emphasized men's basketball for a decade didn't help, either.

We now have a contending program, with one of the most respected coaches in the country, playing in a totally refurbished arena.  Fans are realistically going to have to expect prices more in line with our competition.  Sometimes we seem impossible to please, demanding winning teams and great facilities - and cheap tickets.

 

2Blue4You

September 25th, 2012 at 6:49 AM ^

Last year we got a deal midway through the summer and had two tickets for $300.  The bill this year for the same thing was $680!  Might see how the season goes and rethink getting season football and season basketball tickets. 

Fort Wayne Blue

September 25th, 2012 at 9:07 AM ^

My in-laws have season tickets to Indiana Basketball. They pay $35 per seat. They make their "donations" to the Varsity Club .... They were strong armed into purchasing season football tickets ($900) or they'd lose seat position. AND to move down 5-10 rows they made another 5k donation.

$600 doesn't look too bad to them!

Section 1

September 25th, 2012 at 12:07 PM ^

The real story has nothing much to do with non-priority season tickets in the upper section.  They rarely sell out; the prices have been stable; it's not a big deal.

So $680 -- meh.

The questions surround people being asked loyal supporters and long-time season ticket holders to cough up $2000 to $4000* in unrestricted giving (for PSD's) per year, every year, in addition to the aforementioned ticket prices.

 

*If somebody wants to check me on the range of PSD requirements, be my guest.  I'd be happy to be supplied with more info from any source. 

ScruffyTheJanitor

September 25th, 2012 at 12:12 PM ^

I really wish you could convince people to skip NFL/ NCAA games for a whole month just to prove a point about these rediculous PSD/ PSL's. Of course, the current attempts at a "fan's union" are lame because people with enought money or enough dedication will be all like, "thats soooo lame, bro" and pony up way too much dough. 

 

Edit: i just realized how stupid that would be. It would be more effective if people would just not buy season tickets for a year. That would make teams crap themsleves. Of course, the same reasons why it wouldn't work apply, but still.

Wolves

September 25th, 2012 at 1:22 PM ^

The presonal seat donations range from $100 to $2500 per seat in 2013/14.  This year they are half the amount.  This is for the lower bowl and some upper bowl seats.  The vast majority of the arena are between free (upper bowl) and $100-$200 for the seats.  Compared to other Universities not bad.  I actually improved my seats to the "valiant" level and only paid $100/seat this year ($200 next).  For season ticket holder who has suffered for the last 15 years it is a small price to pay for a competitive team and a good arena.

artds

September 25th, 2012 at 12:15 PM ^

M B-Ball is a big deal again. You can consider the prices you paid for the last 10-15 years a gift. Persoanlly, I'd rather have a relevant team and pay higher ticket prices than have an irrelevant team and pay lower ticket prices, but that's just me.