Desperate times call for desperate emails [student football tix]

Submitted by bdsisme on April 18th, 2014 at 1:26 PM

An email I received in my inbox this afternoon piqued my interest.  Let's look at how many emails I have received as a student urging me to buy student football season tickets, shall we?

Chart?

Chart.

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Year # of emails
2011 1
2012 2
2013 1
2014 5

Hmmm.  This year's home slate, the $295 price tag, and the stadium experience is proving a hard sell to many students, eh?  For those interested, here's the email some students received today (note this is the first time they've ever extended the deadline to my/my friends' knowledge):

Dear [Student],
Thank you for being a Michigan Football SuperFan! According to our scanned data, you attended 5 or more home football games on-time last season (prior to or at kickoff). As a result, you have been granted SuperFan priority for the 2014 season.
Earlier this week (Tuesday, April 15) was the deadline to renew your season tickets for the 2014 season. However, since you have proven your loyalty this past season, we would like to offer a one-time extension of the season ticket renewal deadline in order for you to continue your devotion as a Michigan Football Superfan.
We know you are busy closing out the Spring semester and may have questions regarding the new seating policy for the 2014 season. By extending the renewal deadline to Friday, April 25, we hope you are now able to guarantee your seat as a Michigan Football Student Season Ticket Holder.

Comments

ESNY

April 18th, 2014 at 3:23 PM ^

Will the email tomorrow offer, for callers in the next ten minutes, to get not one but TWO tickets for the price of one and you just have to pay separate processing.

I Like Burgers

April 18th, 2014 at 1:39 PM ^

Hopefully a lot of students won't buy students tickets. The only way to let them know the product and slate of games are crap is by speaking with your wallet. Take the $295 and go buy a TV to watch on instead.

stephenrjking

April 18th, 2014 at 1:52 PM ^

You can't be a fan if you don't cheerfully plunk down $300 for a single student ticket, or much more if you're not a student?

Am I disqualified from being a fan now that I can no longer pay big money to attend all of the games because I live in Minnesota? This will come as a great surprise to my wife, daughters, and friends, who have actually seen the attention I give to Michigan teams.

stephenrjking

April 18th, 2014 at 2:09 PM ^

I suspect there are a fair number of fans who, for whatever reason, don't buy. Of course, some who buy aren't really dedicated fans of the sport, either. One's fanhood is not dependent upon how much they are able to spend or how much they measure up to someone else's ideal of fandom.

I just wouldn't be quick to blame this on the students or to attack their fanhood. The part of your post where you worried about the future of the athletic program was actually something I agreed with, but it was hard to get past the beginning.

dnak438

April 18th, 2014 at 2:25 PM ^

on this board for admitting that I stopped going to games my junior year (95-96). I'm much more devoted a fan now that I'm older. Students make many decisions, some good, some bad. There's no point in judging people on this issue. Some will regret not going to games, some won't.

bringthewood

April 18th, 2014 at 3:15 PM ^

I too was a bigger fan before college and a few years after college.  There was a crapload more going on in college between school, work and trying to find a job.  Basketball was also a top dog ('76 - '80) in those years.  When I was a kid I could devote my life to fandom and now I have more time and money I can do the same.

French West Indian

April 18th, 2014 at 3:56 PM ^

...that I actually stopped going after the Notre Dame game of my sophmore year (except for Rose Bowls, of course).  Going to the games in person just sucked up too much valuable time when I was a  student.

I did, however, continue to buy season tickets.  Not with an eye towards selling them but because there was also a friend who was looking for an extra ticket to the game for out-of-town buddies.  I could've made a few bucks on this but I just gave them anyway gratis.  Figured it was worth should I ever need to call later and ask a favor. 

French West Indian

April 18th, 2014 at 4:07 PM ^

...but is there even such a thing as a secondary market if nobody buys them from the primary market?  Would the University dump unsold tickets on Stubhub or maybe instead give them away to local high schoolss students or charity or whatever?

m goblue

April 18th, 2014 at 2:39 PM ^

Some people don't enjoy the experience in the student section.  I personally don't like standing for 3 hours in sometimes bad weather getting a shitty view of the game.  I can sit comfortably on my couch with a great view of the game, instant replay at my personal disposal and not have to spend $40 on a ticket.  

When the Athletic Department offers me a game day experience worth the price of the football ticket, I will buy it.  Until then I will continue to "not be a fan" and watch all the games on my couch.

I Like Burgers

April 18th, 2014 at 2:44 PM ^

I could not disagree more with the "students who don't buy student tix are not fans" mantra.  $300 is a lot of dough for a college kid.  Its a good chunk of dough for non-college kids too.  If I'm going to spend that kind of money, I better be getting something good in return.  A night game against PSU and a collection of crappy home games is not worth that.  And just because you don't blindly plunk down the money for tickets doesn't mean you're not a fan.  Blinding buying season tickets regardless of what you're getting in return makes you a sucker.

If you're looking to spend $300 to be a "fan", I'd much rather do a roadtrip with a bunch of friends to NW or OSU or MSU.  It would be a much better memory, more fun, and a better use of the money.

MGoNOLA

April 18th, 2014 at 2:57 PM ^

This is really well put.

Getting up to the $300 is going to be a dealbreaker to many students. Not have the privilege of wealth does not make you less of a fan. 

The Big Ten and NCAA likes to decry player unionization as the end of amateur athletics. It what way is pricing tickets like NFL teams not more of an end to amateur athletics. 

Question, what is college football without college fans?

French West Indian

April 18th, 2014 at 4:13 PM ^

...when you consider that many students are living off of borrowered money.  If they should have trouble getting a job after graduation then by the time interest compounds a bit they might have paid nearly double.

Frankly, for some of these kids today, it's simply the smart move to skip the games.

vablue

April 19th, 2014 at 6:49 AM ^

Slight difference between not buying tickets and actively hoping that nobody does. Nor did he say that makes the person not a fan, just that it scares him about the future. A sentiment I completely agree with.

We should all remember part of the reason for this crap schedule is Big Ten realignment.

On another note, for those that think Michigan would do well in a scenario where players are paid because Michigan has a lot of wealthy alumni and fans. See this thread and rethink that.

Ghost of BCook…

April 18th, 2014 at 1:46 PM ^

The way I see it, you are being afforded a privilege and that email is giving you another chance to realize it. If you and your fellow students don't think the product is worth it, your ticket will be sold to an alum who will gladly fork over a lot more money than was being asked of you. You don't really think that seat will go unsold, do you?

the_benjy_vortex

April 18th, 2014 at 1:52 PM ^

Exactly. No one on this site will disagree with the facts that the product is shit right now and the home slate is abhorrent. As a member of the class of '96 and as a way out of state ticket holder for over 18 years, i blindly reupped my season tix. I only get to about two games a year but, for me, I still find value in keeping the seats in my name regardless of how pathetic the current schedule is.  It will improve. 

redhousewolverine

April 18th, 2014 at 2:50 PM ^

Unless the student to alum policies have changed, your logic doesn't really apply to students. Whereas there is value in keeping your tickets in your name, for students who are only eligible for students tickets for 4 years (generally), there is less value because they aren't getting an interest in keeping the tickets in their name. As soon as they graduate, they will join the alum pool and have to buy from it. Thus, a student who is or might be struggling with money might now want to shell out 300 to watch Michigan beat up on some MAC teams or, alternatively, struggle to beat MAC teams. Just because it's a privilege doesn't mean students have to buy tickets. And I'm sure they know the tickets will be sold to alums. But if we're talking loyalty, maybe the alums the tickets get sold to should not sell them to Ohio fans whenever the team looks like it's going to get easily beat by ohio.

Jobu

April 18th, 2014 at 2:51 PM ^

With the growing popularity of Stubhub what need is there to purchase season tickets? Are you really that insecure that you need to sit in the exact same seat for 30 years straight?

 

I have never understood the big thrill with being a season ticket holder. I have bought mine off the secondary market for the past 10 years.

maizenbluenc

April 18th, 2014 at 3:41 PM ^

I think this season is the perfect storm of last season blues, and unattractive home slate. Last year they opened up season ticket sales to people not on the PSD waiting list. This means to me they had cleared throught the PSD waiting list last summer.

I am guessing stubhub prices will be well below dynamic pricing base price this year, and they will not sell as many season tickets as they had previously.

Dave Brandon lost in the East - West realignment. Of course it is partially his fault for scheduling App State, but the movement of MSU to away in the same year as ND away and OSU away has strangled the golden goose.

UMxWolverines

April 18th, 2014 at 3:01 PM ^

Non-student tickets are not flying off the figurative shelves either. There was no season ticket waiting list last year. You've heard the people on here that are giving their tickets up. The same thing is going on outside the blog. Unless we put up 60 on Appalachain State this could be a shit show of a year. 

DealerCamel

April 19th, 2014 at 1:07 AM ^

From all the ballyhooing going on on this site before the Ohio State game, you would've thought the stadium was gonna be 90% red.  Some of the more paranoid posters thought that the 100,000 streak was going to end after the Penn State game.  Neither event came close to happening. 

I too am of the opinion that this will be a tough year, but let's also not talk ourselves into a frenzy.

stephenrjking

April 18th, 2014 at 1:47 PM ^

Maybe they're just a bit below their expected totals and want to bring a few more into the fold. This could be a minor issue, and a courtesy to the "most loyal" fans whom they would expect to renew.

Or this could be a symptom of a serious problem that combines general apathy regarding the state of the team, rapidly growing costs of attendance, and a pitiful schedule against a struggling football conference.

I'm starting to wonder if it's the latter. This will only amplify the pressure on Hoke to produce this season; I actually think a scenario where the team struggled early, but pulls things together late and wins some big games is a real possibility--but it's going to be hard to survive serious attendance revolt and a mediocre September.

Months ago, Alton predicted that the 100,000 attendance streak would be broken this year. I thought that his prediction was premature... but now I'm not so sure.