Brandon Letter to Premium Ticket Holders

Submitted by mvp on July 22nd, 2011 at 5:50 PM

Dave Brandon just sent out this letter:

<blockquote> Dear Victors Club Member,


We hope you are having a great summer and are looking forward to those eight special fall Saturday’s at Michigan Stadium. I know that Coach Brady Hoke, his staff and our student-athletes are working hard to make all of us proud this season. I wanted to take a moment to share with you some new information regarding premium club seat areas and suites and, make a request to you, our loyal fans.


This year, you will be allowed to move between the third and four floor club levels on the east side. You can simply use the elevators or the stairs. We hope that the new high-definition scoreboards will also add to your enjoyment of the game day environment.


Today, we announced a partnership with StubHub, an industry leader in the secondary ticket landscape.  This service will provide many of our season ticket holders in the bowl with an orderly, fair method to re-sell tickets to games they cannot attend.  We have had many requests for this service and we are pleased to offer it through a reputable company who has a great deal of experience in handling these transactions.


We will not be including premium club seats and suites in the StubHub marketplace. I understand that your purchase of premium seats and/or suite tickets is not only an investment in Michigan Athletics, but also an investment in the unique and special in-stadium experience that you expect and deserve.  Knowing that, I would like to ask you to not attempt to resell your season tickets on any secondary ticket platform. The premium seat and suite experience is a special one and we want to preserve the integrity of these areas for you – our loyal fans and donors. 


I want to again thank you for your support of Michigan Athletics and thanks in advance for helping preserve the premium seat experience for all of your fellow fans in Michigan Stadium.


See you at the Big House in 43 days.


Go Blue!


Dave Brandon


I actually like this idea.  There were some around us last year that obviously re-sold their tickets to visiting teams.


Section 1

July 22nd, 2011 at 6:08 PM ^

It is mostly untrue, that some of the big crowds of opposing fans that we have seen at our home games, are the result of home fans, or season ticket holders, selling their tickets.

The phenomenon (big numbers of opposing fans in Michigan Stadium) itself is real.  At least occasionally.  Witness the 2009 OSU game.  Quite probably the biggest and loudest opposing-fan contingent in Michigan Stadium history, including the Michigan State games of the 70's and 80's.

But the reason behind the phenomenon is not Michigan fans selling their tickets; at least not for the most part.  The real problem has been the gradual adjustment of the season-ticket seating as the main bowl was renovated.  And as the Athletic Department "banked" seats to use for the adjustments with more wheelchair mezzanines, wider seat spacing, and wider aisles.

All of those individual tickets and package game offers you have seen for the Athletic Department; they are the visible signs of the phenomenon.  Don't think that ticket resellers are not scarfing them up, and reselling them to opposition fans.

THAT is what is going on.

I have CONFIRMED this phenomenon with the Ticket Office.  They know it, they understand it.  They expect that in coming years, the stadium will settle into a greater percentage of season-ticket sales.  The individual game tickets, and the "non-season" package tickets will become less and less available.  And in the meantime, they are trying to watch out for channels of tickets to our rivals via ticket brokers.  But that can be hard to police, and I really don't know what their immediate solution is, if anything.

True Blue Grit

July 22nd, 2011 at 6:16 PM ^

If I paid that much for a seat, I'd be pretty pissed if at this year's OSU game a couple knuckle-dragging, foul-mouthed Bucknut fans ended up sitting next to me. 


July 22nd, 2011 at 6:22 PM ^

I once met a guy who started his own very successful ticket brokerage. What he told me about his business model confirms exactly what Section 1 just said: 95% of individual tickets and limited-package tickets are purchased by ticket brokers.

And it's become sort of a self-perpetuating cycle, because the more people see that they can get pretty much any ticket they want from a ticket broker, the less they buy the from official box offices the day they're released. With the exception of the hardest of the hard core fans, instead of planning everything six months in advance most people just say, "Well, if I decide I want to go to (EVENT X IN THE DISTANT FUTURE), I'll just buy tickets off (INSERT TICKET BROKERAGE HERE)."

EDIT: Supposed to be a reply to Section 1's post.


July 23rd, 2011 at 12:42 AM ^

It is ridiculously expensive to buy season tickets in advance. I know that as students we get a discount, but the deadline was in the middle of March. I wish I could afford it but I don't really have the extra $250 to buy a season ticket that early. I have the money now that it's summer and I'm working more, but like I said the deadline was in March. It makes much more sense for me to buy individual tickets to the games I really want to attend. As long as the school gets the money I don't see how it could hurt.

Poor Yorick

July 22nd, 2011 at 6:28 PM ^

I am desperately seeking t o lose my UM sporting event virginity at this year's OSU game since I will be in Ann Arbor (first time) for Thanksgiving. But I would like some advice on how to secure tickets. You see, my brother is a UM Grad student but most decidedly not a greatbiggiant sports fan. Also he is most decidedly lazy. So maybe I don't necessarily feel completely comfortable with his "efforts" to land me/us ticekts. How should my brother go about buying student tickets for the game? Is it too late? How much would they be? How many could he get? Would it be easier to just buy tickets myself (non-UM student)? And now all this stubhub noise?   Answers, links to places that answer, and general advice about tickets, the game, and Ann Arbor all welcome. Also I think we might have to eat Thanksgiving dinner in a restaurant... boo. Any recommendations? Thanks.


July 22nd, 2011 at 7:55 PM ^

How should my brother go about buying student tickets for the game?


Facebook Marketplace.  It's ridiculously easy.  Have him borrow a friend's MCard and he can easily get two OSU tickets for the student section.  Getting them for "cheap" (depending on your definition of that word) may not be as easy, but the tickets will be available.  Right now the buzz is ND.  If we lose to ND (sorry, trying to answer your question) immediately after might be the best time to buy.  Those selling their tickets will have just made a killing, morale will be down if we lose, and The Game will still be a big chunk of time away and the demand should be at its lowest (demand will only rise if we win).


July 22nd, 2011 at 8:16 PM ^

Double post...

FYI: ND tickets are going for around $300 a piece right now.  Generally, OSU student tickets on Facebook have been around $200 of recent years.  But remember, recent years have been grim.  This year they may be higher.  If you see one for $200 I'd tell your brother to snatch it up.


July 22nd, 2011 at 9:18 PM ^

$200?  Really, I paid $50 for that game in 2009.  If you find the right people early and stay on the sites often, you should be fine.  Just remember that if you decide to chance it at the last minute to buy that you are either going to get an amazing deal or the worst price of your life.  Buying early is the best way to go


July 22nd, 2011 at 9:06 PM ^

How about he ask people not to sell their tUoOS tix either.  2009 was a fucking embarrassment that so many bandwagon fans let Michigan Stadium turn into a sea of red.


July 23rd, 2011 at 3:01 PM ^

As Section 1 noted earlier, the OSU fan turnout at the 2009 game was confounded by the AD's decision to sell non-renewable season ticket packages for approximately $400 each. For an OSU fan looking to witness a likely beatdown in the Big House (following the dismal performance in 2008), that's a reasonable price, and they could attempt to sell the other marquee games (ND, etc.).
<br>Sure, it's possible that a few fans sold out, and that number will never be zero, for any game. But you can't pin the entire OSU fan turnout on fair weather fans.


July 23rd, 2011 at 12:09 AM ^

<Blockquote> works a lot better if you switch to plain text editor first.  Thanks for the info, though.

I usually disagree with Brandon, but I think he is spot on about this one.  Imagine having nice premium seats in a suite and having to share it with Sparty fans or Buckeyes.  It wouldn't be all bad, of course, if Michigan wins, but it would be an invitation to commit unspeakable physical crimes upon their well-being if Michigan was losing.  

Maize and Blue…

July 23rd, 2011 at 7:33 AM ^

Like renting out the Big House for weddings, having a mascot, telling a white lying about the throwback jersey, or using a trial ballon to see how fans feel about moving theGgame to a different date.


July 23rd, 2011 at 9:12 AM ^

It's one thing to hold off the grammar police on blog comments-- most of us are typing quickly, conversation-style, so even if we're English majors our fingers do funny things that aren't exactly connected to the brain.  But our AD, who is also a grad of our esteemed, academically touted U, sending out an official letter with such an egregious error?  Please, there must be some English majors who could use a side gig in proofreading to cover their textbook costs!  (There have to be some whose parents can't afford those premium seats.)


July 23rd, 2011 at 1:04 AM ^

doesnt pass the smell test. Otherwise, why allow any opposing fans to buy tickets at all? What real distinction is their between an awesome seat at the 50 yard line and one at club level? Why should one be treated differently than the other? Are we a segregated society? Do we discriminate because someone might root for a different team than we do? I sense a lot of elitism and pomp in that message from DB, quite a bit too much in fact. Especially when those owning clublevel are paying orders of magnitude more for their tickets than anyone else in the stadium. You can't tell them what they can and cannot do with their tickets. This is a free country.


July 23rd, 2011 at 3:58 PM ^

If I paid $85k a year for my box and was prohibited from selling, I'd be pissed.  But that's not what's happening here.

He's not asking them not to sell tickets.  He's asking them not to sell via secondary ticket market platforms.  

Bottom line: he wants boxholders to sell to people they know, not ticket brokers who turn around and sell seats to Buckeyes.

Roy G. Biv

July 23rd, 2011 at 12:28 PM ^

Please forgive the cynicism, but it seems ironic that the great midwestern bastion of liberalism and equality for all has what amounts to a caste system inside its most visible face:  110,000 people overtly divided by their have/have-not status.  The one criticism (or perhaps observation would be a better word) I have for DB is it seems U-M is more and more beholden to the almighty dollar.  That may well be a "get off my lawn"-ish comment, and I'm aware economic realities are the number driver for all things Michigan.  He's done a lot of great things thus far, but it seems to me the "averge" fan is being driven out faster under his leadership.

Section 1

July 23rd, 2011 at 4:14 PM ^

In some sense, it is hard to argue with you.  If you want a suite in Michigan Stadium, a block of club level tickets, or a great parking space in the Blue Lot, you are going to be writing a five-figure check to the unviersity.  Before they send you a bill for the actual tickets, or the parking place.  That's five figures, each and every year.

But that's where the funding for the facilities come from, in the first place.  Without those donors, there is no Big House.  There is no Glick Fieldhouse, no Junge Center, no new basketball facilities; not much of anything.

What I'd like to take issue with you on, directly, is the notion that somehow people can't get season tickets to Michigan games.  That people of ordinary means can't get regular tickets.  And what I'd like to suggest, particularly to people on this Board, is that as far as I am aware, there has never been a better time to start buying Michigan season football tickets.  To get in on the ground floor of the era of the newly-renovated Stadium, and the dust settles on the new seating chart as it were.  It didn't occur to me until recently, that some of you folks don't realize that years ago, the season ticket holders were a much bigger percentage, with all of the rest of the tickets being sold out fast, out of 1000 State Street, on an individual basis.

What the Stadium renovations have done is several things, to impact the availability of tickets:

  • First, many season ticket holders were drawn up and out of the main bowl, into the suites and club levels.
  • Second, the initiation in about 1999, of Preferred Seating Donations to the Victors Club probably drove out some of the old faithful fans who would not budget that kind of expenditure for football tickets.
  • Third, before the renovations were started, the Athletic Department had been banking all discontinued season ticket subscriptions.  Everybody who had season tickets and who died, or quit subscribing, or whatever; their tickets were held by the Athletic Department.  So that they could scootch people around when the aisles and wheelchair seating areas were expanded.  Those tickets were sold, of course, but only on an individual or package basis.  Not renewable season tickets.

Now, all of those processes are completed.  And the fact that they have still been selling "packages" and individual game tickets tells me that the season-ticket wait list can't be too bad.  Is there a waiting list at all?  You will need some cash, but I don't think that there's ever been a better time to start being a season-ticket holder to Michgan Football.  As an observer of Detroit area sports since the 1960's, it is clear that there is no better team sports ticket in this region, than Michigan football.  Not the Detroit Tigers, in their amusement-park stadium.  Not the Red Wings, in their garage on the Riverfront.  Not the disastrous Lions, in any of their incarnations since Lem Barney and Mel Farr roamed Tiger Stadium.  Not the Pi$ton$ in their suburban Palace (talk about expensive!).  There's no better time in Michigan to be outdoors, than September and October; there's no better assemblage of a vast crowd in this state, than the alumni of the state's finest big institution; there's not a local team that has the history and winning tradition to compare with the Michigan Wolverines.

So now's the time to get Michigan football season tickets, if you can find room in your budget.

I can hardly wait for fall, for a sunny Saturday to open a nice chilled Louis Jadot white burgundy, a little chevre cheese and perhaps some Great Lakes caviar.  (That last shot was for you, Drew Sharp.)

Maize and Blue…

July 23rd, 2011 at 5:43 PM ^

for the last two years and knew what I was getting into when I purchased them. DB saw a way to maybe make some extra money by not having those this year and instead offering 4 game packs.  For my support the last two years I was told I could start buying the packs the same time as the general public (nice show of loyalty by the university).  The wait list is still there, but if you don't donate you'll be waiting forever. Ten bucks doesn't get you much except your name on the list.

I could have had my season tickets again at $987 (except DB wanted more $$$) or I could have bought 3 four game packs to get the big 3 and ended with a season ticket package with 4 extra tickets for EMU and two extra for two of the other 4 games at $1815 (290 x 6 + 75 in charges).  As much as I live and die for M football I decided that instead of screaming my lungs out in the Big House I would be watching in front of the TV.

Roy G. Biv

July 23rd, 2011 at 9:05 PM ^

Good points.  I don't have anything quantitative to support my statement about the regular guy being pushed out--it's more or less an impression I'm getting.  It is entirely possible I'm all wet.  I agree that the personal seating license (or extortion as I like to call it as I'm paying my $500 just for the right to buy my tickets) was the great blow to people with limited disposable income.  Now THAT was the ultimate FU to the guy on the 50 with 8 seats who'd been there 40 years.  Again, it's just an impression I'm getting and nothing backed up by numbers, that the Michigan game day experience is becoming province of the corporate and/or weatlhy.