Evil Genius Brandon to jack Bball Ticket Prices at Crisler

Submitted by StephenRKass on February 29th, 2012 at 9:54 AM

As Brian wryly commented yesterday about phase two of the Crisler renovations

The renovations will be completed just in time for no one to be able to afford tickets.

There are some details over at the Detroit News on this (Link:) coming Crisler highway robbery at the hands of evil genius Dave Brandon.

The headline says it all:

Michigan fans to pay more for prime seats at Crisler Center

Some of the details:

Season-ticket holders looking to reserve seats in the lower bowl and eastern and western portions of the upper bowl facing center court will have to pay anywhere from $50-$7,500 per seat in what athletic department officials call a "personal seat donation" to secure their spot for the 2012-13 season and earn points for priority seating.

Points are given on a matrix of factors, including alumni status, varsity letter status, donations to the university, and consecutive years of holding season tickets.

However, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that heavy hitters in donations will basically snap up all lower bowl and sideline seats not given to students. And they only go back in years of season tickets to 1992-1993 (ironically, the middle of the Fab Five era/debacle.) Held tickets since the 80's or before? That's nice . . . so what.

A bone is thrown to those who can't afford a "personal seat donation:"

There are several sections in Crisler exempt from the new policy: Sections 201, 202, 208 through 220, 226 and 227.

And just where might those sections be, you ask? You don't have to be a genius to figure out that those sections are upper bowl seats behind the baskets.

I don't know what to say. I'll always be a Michigan fan, but pretty much from more and more of a distance.



February 29th, 2012 at 10:03 AM ^

Evil Genius Brandon to raise the price on the cost of oil!

Evil Genius Brandon responsible for global warming!

Evil Genius Brandon sinks Lusitania!

Evil Genius Brandon is Idi Amin!



February 29th, 2012 at 10:07 AM ^

You'd think they would want to sell out all games and provide a home court advantage. I know you're all going to say that Crisler was not loud during Purdue but there were times when the crowd got into it.

I know I was screaming like a maniac especially in the second half.


February 29th, 2012 at 10:08 AM ^

Inevitable I suppose.  Still don't like it.  Brian was correct when he said people will be priced out of the tickets.  $7500?  Who but the very wealthy are going to pay that much for tickets?

At what point, especially with the economy in the state of Michigan, do they price seats so high that people stop showing up?



February 29th, 2012 at 10:49 AM ^

Dave Brandon surely knows that you can't sell a hot dog and coke to an empty seat.

I love that sentence.  It's a beautiful encapsulation of the issue.  And I'd be willing to bet Brandon would agree.  I'm quite certain he would not want a half-empty Crisler ... not simply because of reduced hot dog and Coke sales, but because it reflects poorly on the "Michigan Brand" which he jealously protects.

On the other hand, it costs money to run the Michigan programs and update/maintain the facilities.  And never forget -- most sports are money losers ... they are subsidized by the money makers: football and basketball.

So as you say, "I'm sure they will be adjusted to the market rate."  Exactly.  Brandon will tickle the rate to maximize attendance and revenue.  And that's what an AD is supposed to do.



February 29th, 2012 at 10:11 AM ^

With two children in day care, I can't really justify the cost of attending men's basketball or football games, especially if I want to take the  family. During the winter though, we get to as many non-revenue games as feasible. The ease with which you can find a competive sporting event to watch is one of the things that make Ann Arbor a great town.

While I am annoyed by the image of Brandon sitting in his office contemplating supply and demand curves I wonder if this mentality maintains the viability of non-revenue sports?  It may, but the existence of those sports pre-dates Brandon's PSD shenanagins by a long shot.


February 29th, 2012 at 11:24 AM ^

is there are going to be ticket packeages that will be much cheaper for 2 "bad" games, an ok game, and some better games.  I bought one this year for football and it worked out perfectly. I feel for the hardcore Bball fans that wan to and can attend every game.  For the rest, I think there will be opportunities to go without breaking the bank.

As an optimist, I am seeing this as Michigan Basketball making it's way back.  I'd much prefer paying a little more to go to a Michigan football game and atmosphere, than to be given free tickets to attend an Indiana football game. I'm hoping that this is what it means for basketball.


February 29th, 2012 at 11:12 PM ^

I'm sure their will be ticket packages but the problem with the Football Packages last year are that they were expensive. Those seats could have been sold to a new season ticket holder for $60 per game ($480/8 =$60), but the University sold these packages at $70 and $85 per game. Yes, they are losing out on the PSD but they are easily getting that and some through the increased price. I think the scalpers are a much better option than purchasing these ticket packages.


February 29th, 2012 at 11:26 AM ^

I wonder if this mentality maintains the viability of non-revenue sports? It may, but the existence of those sports pre-dates Brandon's PSD shenanagins by a long shot.

Yes, but the cost of providing scholarships to those athletes has only escalated. Our athletes don't just get a tuition waiver; the AD actually pays the university for them to go to school. And obviously there are the facilities, coaching and training costs, which aren't going down either.


February 29th, 2012 at 10:11 AM ^

I think most Michigan grads can afford a $50 dollar seat license fee.  Way too much attention is being given to the $7,500 dollar number - those are seats most of us would never have had a chance to sit in at any point in our lives anyways. 

The Wonderful 135

February 29th, 2012 at 10:17 AM ^

Obviously we'll have to wait to see exactly where the seats are located...But I think that just like the $7,500 seats are the best in the house, you would have to assume that the $50 seats are not so great. 

The better question is where the mean value falls. Are we looking at an average cost of $75 or $2,500? 

This is obviously the price we pay for having such a huge alumni base, and such an awesome athletic program (which I suppose I can accept).  However, I can't stand how boring (old) our fans are - probably because they are the only ones who can afford it.  Remember when Erin Andrews commented on how quiet the Big House was?  I wish that would change.  Oh well.

Mr. Yost

February 29th, 2012 at 10:18 AM ^

I love how people complain about stuff they wouldn't be able to afford anyway.


Charge $100,000 for them. I don't care. I'm going to be in the nosebleeds trying to find my way down as close to the floor as I can regardless of what you do.


Leave us common folk alone, and I'm happy. The only seat license I have is the 2 year old gum they can't scrape off which deters people to sit in MY seat.


February 29th, 2012 at 10:21 AM ^

I'm sorry to break it to you, but your seat with the gum is being removed from the arena (along with all of the other seats).  You'll have to bring new gum next year - may I suggest start chewing it now so it has that aged patina you are looking for. 


February 29th, 2012 at 2:13 PM ^

"Way too much attention is being given to the $7,500 dollar number - those are seats most of us would never have had a chance to sit in at any point in our lives anyways. "

So?  why shouldn't people be able to sit in those seats without having some kind of connection, secret handshake or $7500 to spare?

Maybe I'm just irritated because I remember when student season football tickets were $80 (total) and I still couldn't afford that.


February 29th, 2012 at 7:00 PM ^

You are missing my point.  Courtside seats are already out of the price range of most of us and have been for a long ass time.  The people who have been sitting in those seats for the last few years aren't different than the people who will be sitting in them next season when the $7,500 PSL kicks in.  That kind of money to the front-row basketball ticketholder is no different than a $50 PSL for an upper deck seat that an average middle class guy like me will have no difficulty in affording. 

On a different note, how exactly, would you determine who gets the handful of the best seats in your egalitarian scenario?  Random lottery?  Tenure?  I have no problem with the market determining how much seats are worth and who will get to sit wear, but I suppose I'm just not enough of a communist. 


February 29th, 2012 at 10:15 AM ^

PSD's are for season tickets. There likely won't be a big difference in season tickets sold next year vs this year. A better question for the average fan is, how much will single ticket prices increase by? While I dislike the PSD jack, if you can't afford $50 per season, how can you afford tickets at all?

A bigger issue is parking. I love the walk to football games but the February walk from Pioneer is no good. It's a big reason for late arrivals and seems to be a problem deserving much more attention.

Section 1

February 29th, 2012 at 11:08 AM ^

It is Brandon's one, main, biggest facilities problem in all of Michigan athletics:  Parking.

The Athletic Department made a decision when they decided to build the Davidson-thing and renovate Crisler; they deliberately lost some Blue Lot parking to build it.  And the Athletic Department knew that it would "lose" football parking to be dedicated to suite patrons. 

At a time when parking was already bad, it has intentionally been made worse.


February 29th, 2012 at 10:16 AM ^

Ohio went through this when they opened the Schottenstein Center.  The courtside seats were too expensive for "real fans" to afford and the students were moved back from the court, thus hurting the home court advantage.  I know they are working on moving some of the student sections around to help.  This is the way college basketball is going.  I'm amazed what Toledo did with Savage Hall.  They put a mint into private suites and luxury boxes for donors and businesses.

CRISPed in the DIAG

February 29th, 2012 at 10:17 AM ^

Capital improvements cost money, so there's no shame in adjusting ticket prices to account for expenses.  Sounds like the AD will ding the seats that are regularly sold out.  Yeah, inevitable given the success of the program as of late.


February 29th, 2012 at 2:00 PM ^

You need the demand to raise prices, otherwise you have have lots of high priced empty seats.  I just don't see the demand that justifies an increase.  I don't have a problem with them asking whatever they want but I'd hate to see a 1/2 empty arena

Corporate buyers also tend to be no shows for the crappy games so expect more of the games like with the Red Wings, sell outs with a bunch of empty seats for the games with Columbus.


February 29th, 2012 at 10:40 AM ^

There are some decent lower bowl seats with rather minimal PSDs. I sit in the corner near the Michigan bench and those seats will only cost $50 a seat next year. The $7500 tickets are for luxury boxes. For $2500 you can sit at mid court and have access to a club area with your own bathrooms and concession areas. 


February 29th, 2012 at 10:43 AM ^

If only we all went to a shitty university where nobody could find any sort of gainful employment and the market demanded lower ticket prices, we wouldnt have to deal with this "problem." 

As for the $7,500, that's probably for the first time buyer who didn't go to the university and has never donated a dime wanting to get a seat inches from Beilein.  When we start hearing about lifer season ticket holder alumni who have consistently donated a few hundred bucks a year getting bought out of their seats, then there could be an argument against this system.  Until then, if you want the best teams, you need the best players, which require the best facilities and coaches, which requires the most money.

Id rather go to 5 games per year watching a sweet team in an awesome facility, then watch that great team make a tournament run on TV, as opposed to going to 15 games per year watching some crappy team that will make it out of the first round once every decade.

Section 1

February 29th, 2012 at 11:00 AM ^

When we start hearing about lifer season ticket holder alumni who have consistently donated a few hundred bucks a year getting bought out of their seats, then there could be an argument against this system.  

This is exactly, precisely, totally the argument that you are going to get.  The donation requirement is going to be for the season tickets in the lower bowl.  And the problem is that it will be punitive for loyal, longtime season-ticket supporters, many of whom will decide that they won't pay.

The rest of what you suggest is a non-issue.  They might grade access to some priority tickets based on Victors Club points.  But the real point is that loyal longtime season ticket holders or not, people will still have to pay PSD's for season tickets.  And I think that Brandon might quickly price himself out of the market.


February 29th, 2012 at 10:48 AM ^

My number one complaint against Brandon (on a list of maybe 1 or 2 things), had been he just loves money too much. Not to say that he is greedy, but his #1 objective has been to make money for the athletic department. In a department where the final product is kids who don't get paid, it would be nice to see more given back. I don't care how nice the 2050 Big House renovations are if I can't afford tickets to go see it.