Michigan to open up 2,000 single-game football tickets behind student section

Submitted by bluebyyou on August 3rd, 2013 at 5:06 PM

I haven't seen this posted so:

2,000 fewer tickets were bought by students, so Brandon decided to sell the tickets in the rows above row 70 of sections 31-34 to the public.  An increasing lack of interest in student ticket purchasing is not unique to Michigan and is not a good trend.


I was one of the fortunate people who paid over $200 per ticket, thanks to dynamic pricing, to sit in these seats.  The cycle of life is complete. 



August 3rd, 2013 at 7:22 PM ^

it's a mix of economy/money and UM not being, well, UM on the field for a while. Sugar Bowl aside, we're a school used to truly thinking we can win each week to a school that has concern about NW, Iowa, etc. On top of that, we've been very young and/or lacking typical UM talent/coaching for a while. That seems to be changing but until we're back to looking at every game as a "push" in the worst case scenario I think students will choose the rare extra cash and sleep over tickets at all or showing on time with tickets. Not sure anything can be done to "fix" it in these conditions other than this (not a fix) or making the section smaller from the jump (sad) and selling the trimmed section seats as normal seats until student demand returns. It's just a rough thing but good seats if you get them.


August 3rd, 2013 at 7:30 PM ^

I think atmosphere needs changed until (when/if) these things return. I think we need to really embrace late games early in the year and for later year big games. Tons of schools with much less field history and success have great consistency with student turnout. Most involve night games or a pre-game tradition even when the fans know they're going to get beat down.


August 3rd, 2013 at 7:30 PM ^

I see a lot of people regularly upset that the AD wants to generate more revenue. If you think it's bad now, wait and see what happens if O'Bannon wins. It will be a full turn to pro sports at the college level.


August 3rd, 2013 at 7:33 PM ^

I can't agree with this "lack of money" argument. I worked 40+ hours a week during undergrad and was only able to attend games freshman year because of this. I regret working that much and missing games and accompanying activities. And overall, it doesn't really do much to help the debt load. It is true every bit of savings will help cut it down, but there are many other ways to do it, and still get tickets.


August 3rd, 2013 at 7:39 PM ^

When did you attend? I ask as the entire mentality is different now in regard to money worty/saving. The state is just a mess and I also know sacrificing needed money for tickets but it was a mere decade ago and I'm out of school but feel the difference in regard to saving, concern for future, etc. I really think money is a part of it but just a slice of the pie.


August 3rd, 2013 at 8:10 PM ^

My tickets were 2005 and didn't get tickets any other years. My debt is still rather large, even with working. So I guess I feel like I could have enjoyed more, attended games etc. and my debt would be only slightly higher. I never bought a laptop for college, instead used a desktop and saved money there. (Just an example) never had an issue doing work. I guess my thought is, to sacrifice 8 Saturdays a year and only pay $200 is not really a lot sacrificed. Work more in the winter, summer, etc. and get some of that expense recouped.


August 3rd, 2013 at 7:40 PM ^

I always like to hear someone else's insight, but many of your complaints are not new and don't explain the recent trend.  If buying a bottle of water at gouge prices keeps you away, then you don't want to be there that bad.


The other complaints you have are longstanding and part of the experience.  Has been and always will be.




August 3rd, 2013 at 8:02 PM ^

Same thing happened to me and I agree that this probably has a lot to do with the issue now.


OOPS - wrong place.  My response was about getting moved when the student section was expanded some time ago.

Ty Butterfield

August 4th, 2013 at 1:05 AM ^

I never drink or eat anything once I enter the stadium. Once I am in my seat I don't leave. So yeah I don't have complaints about food or beverage prices since I never by either. Season tickets since 1995 but the PSD and price increase is getting out of control. Not sure how much longer I will keep them.


August 3rd, 2013 at 7:48 PM ^

How much was the student section expanded a few years ago.  I had my season tickets moved from 33 to 11 to accomodate more students.  This trend may be like water levels have been in the lake, and the student numbers are just returning to typical levels.


Another thought echoed here on the board: watching games at home/elsewhere have improved.  NFL, the top dog of sports, is struggling to have their stadiums filled in many cities.  I'm sure the reason for that is multifactorial.....costs, economy, busier lives, etc.


As our team improves in the upcoming years, demand by people, students or fans, will increase.


August 3rd, 2013 at 7:58 PM ^

The last Michigan-Ohio State game I attended, tickets were something like $25.  Now, the athletic department has reduced itself to the scalper model for pricing individual game tickets, and charges up to $250 for some games.   I am still trying to figure out how the "seat donation" thing works, but since I don't live there, it doesn't really matter to me.

As many here have noticed, it is the classic business model, and DB has the right to use it if he wants: keep raising the ticket prices as high as the public will pay.  I am beginning to wonder, though, if DB has finally raised prices high enough that he is seeing reduced interest.  

I guess we'll find out after next year's inevitable price hike.



August 3rd, 2013 at 8:00 PM ^

 to making the hard decision of giving up my tickets.  They've been in my family for 40 years now, but its harder and harder to justify the expense of the game tickets themselves along with the days travel expenses.


I consider myself an average income, average fan and I'm close to being priced out.

Wolverine In Iowa

August 3rd, 2013 at 9:12 PM ^

Has cell phone coverage improved at Michigan Stadium?  I am going way out on you guys, but we (wireless industry) are hearing that attendance at sports venues (recurring events) is being impacted by inability of attendees to use their wireless devices, and so some people would rather stay home so they can FB or Tweet all day (or even make phone calls).

Any information about last season's experience or any upgrades to the networks in AA (Michigan Stadium, in particular)?


August 3rd, 2013 at 9:21 PM ^

This doesn't surprise me at all. The tickets are more and more expensive now for students and they also are general admission which I know upset a lot of students.


August 4th, 2013 at 12:51 AM ^

For all the grief DB gets, he is doing what we all want. 

We want the best team...big ten champs, national champs, and not just in football.

Well, we want the best recruits to do that.  Those recruits want the best facilities and best coaches.  Those things cost money, and lots of it.  And we have to keep up with the Jones' (Alabama, OSU, etc) of college sports to keep our coaches and atract those recruits.

He can keep ticket prices low, cancel psd's, and let you bring your water in, but will all of you and the students still come when we become mediocre in sports?


Alabama and the SEC have raised the ante.  Sad but true.  Question is, are we game or do we sit out?


August 4th, 2013 at 1:17 AM ^

I had season tickets and survived 08 and 09. Season tickets are not on my radar screen. More single game tickets are just fine for random dudes like me who like to make a trip to AA every now and then.


August 4th, 2013 at 8:28 AM ^

I find it interesting that every time a student ticke policy is posted every student describes how much they hate the new general admission policy then when ticket sales decrease everyone blames Internet access and prices. Guys it's the ticket policy. I have by told by numerous people that they did not buy tickets specifically because of this policy. Students can't afford to spend 7 hrs of time every Saturday waiting in line with a bunch of drunks. I'm sorry but it's just not fair to place that on them. Brandon is reaping the results of this but it doesn't matter because hell make more money off the fan tickets so nobody will Care. Sure the stadium will be quiet because the fans barely make any noise but oh well.


August 5th, 2013 at 9:54 AM ^

No one really knows how the logstics are going to work, but it can't be good.  When I walk to the stadium there are a ton of pre-game house parties.  Will those students be waiting in line instead?  Or will they decide that partying with their friends is more fun than waiting in line and then going to the game?  We'll see...


August 4th, 2013 at 9:59 AM ^

Major point that people are missing in this discussion involved GA.

All the whining about having to stand in line for "decent" seats is now a little more moot.  No matter what, you won't get stuck in the top 20 rows in 31-34 which should be considered the "worst" seats in the student seciton (other than rows 2-14).


August 4th, 2013 at 11:03 AM ^

But you also lost 2,000 students in the process.  If the goal of general admission was to get the students there early and on time and to make a great home field environment, the first results have been completely negative.  Not only have you scared students off from buying season tickets, but you've replaced them with regular fans who don't wear maize and sit on their hands all game.  What a great success.


August 4th, 2013 at 2:04 PM ^

You're assuming the 2,000 that didn't buy tickets this year are hardcore fans that show up on time and wear maize and make noise.

That's a poor assumption.  It's more likely that the people who show up late expecting to sit where they want said "fuck it" and didn't purchase the tickets. Which, fine, those are the people that are the problem anyway.

There's many reasons for that 2,000 decrease in tickets, but I don't see it as a terrible thing. I see it as 2,000 that obviously weren't that invested in the program and thus, more likely were people to come late, leave early, or skip all together.

The only thing we know for sure is that those seats will be full, which is an improvement over last year.  Bleachers neither stand, wear maize, nor get loud.


August 4th, 2013 at 4:16 PM ^

They don't have to be hardcore fans for my assumption.  They just have to be included in the what? 99% of the students that wear maize and are loud when they attend games?  I think it's a pretty safe assumption that even the students who aren't the best fans still wear maize and are loud when they do show up.

I also debate your assumption that filling these 2000 seats with fans/alumni is better than questionable student attendance.  Those seats may be empty for some games, but I would bet you the majority of those 2000 seats would have been full for any big game on the schedule.  Personally, that's fine for me.  I don't care that much about cramming the very top of the student section for a noon game against Akron, but what I do care about is how loud and intimidating the crowd is against ND, MSU, and OSU.  And even 1000 students would be louder than 2000 replacements (that make no noise and wear red for some unknown reason).  


August 4th, 2013 at 5:17 PM ^

Yes, in a perfect world we all want every student to be at every game and be loud.  You make two false assumptions though:

1. No, not every student makes noise.  Not even during the big games.

2. Not every person that's not a student is quiet.

I would assume that some of the people buying these additional seats are likely to be recent alums and will be just as loud as an averge student.  The fact that this small section is above students and next to students will also likely result in them being louder than your average 2000 non-students.

Which is all a round about way of saying, I think this isn't a big deal.  It isn't perfect, but the athletic department seems to be taking smart actions in response to lower student demand.


August 4th, 2013 at 1:52 PM ^

Reading these comments, it's interesting that the students and alumni don't seem to realize that they're each other at different points in their life.

Yes, it's annoying that students are sometimes apathetic about attendance, but the solution isn't to eliminate their seating.  Conversely, those old, rich people are the ones paying the bills right now.  They're not as loud as the students, so that's why the students need to show up and support the team.


August 4th, 2013 at 2:10 PM ^

But the athletic department didn't eliminate student tickets.  Students decided not to buy.

Otherwise, I agree with your point. As a recent alum that still sneaks over to the student section, I'm all about partying and drinking and etc.  Just as I was when I was enrolled.  And then, just as now, I hate the people that didn't show up on time, tried to kick me out of "their" seat in the second half and proceeded to spend the game texting.

I don't look at the GA as a way to punish good fans (it won't - they'll get fine seats), rather a way to discourage poor attendance.

If the GA policy has resulted in people who don't care to arrive at the game on time not buying tickets, then that's their choice and I think the student section is better off. 


August 4th, 2013 at 4:20 PM ^

This is what confuses me though.  How is waiting 9 hours for a football game not a punishment?  Maybe you move up a couple rows in seating, but I think the vast majority would slide back a few rows not to spend hours waiting.  I think there's no doubt that some people are overblowing the waiting time, but I would be willing to bet money that a major part of the student section will be in line for any big game within 2 hours of the official "line time" released by the athletic department.  Plus, even if the waiting isn't as bad this year, it will get there within a few years without a doubt.


August 4th, 2013 at 5:25 PM ^

Waiting 9 hours?  Come on.  That's exaggeration to the extreme.

Let's say 4,000 students decide that they want to wait in line.  That's a much higher percentage than I think is reasonable, but for the sake of argument we'll roll with it.

So, 4,000 students get in line prior to the gates being opened 90 minutes prior to kick.  Those 4,000 students will comprise less than the first 30 or so rows.

Now, let's say over the next hour about 4,000 students walk in (without waiting in line, mind you).  Those students will take the next 30 or so rows.

Basically, you're looking at row 60 and up if you don't want to wait in line nor more than 10 minutes before the pre-game show.  Show up 20-30 minutes before pre-game and you get around row 40.

That's not punishment.  That doesn't prevent you from tailgating.  That doesn't prevent you from getting plastered.


August 4th, 2013 at 7:38 PM ^

Why are we all assuming they actually sold fewer student tickets? My guess is that these seats are to account for the average 2000 a game no-shows they have. That always struck me as the real goal of GA. I bet the student section is "oversold" and these seats opened up because of that.


August 4th, 2013 at 7:38 PM ^

But no one here has brought up the fact that freshman enrollment is dropping. In 2011, 250 fewer freshman enrolled then the peak in 2010. Another 100 fewer than 2011 than 2012, and the 2013 class is not expected to be bigger than that of 2012. That's about 1,000 fewer students overall. And while this factor should not be considered the only one, the fact that M doesn't plan to admit 6500 freshmen per year going forward can't be ignored.


August 4th, 2013 at 9:18 PM ^

Except you're only giving a partial picture:

  • 2010 was the highest year for freshman enrollment, up 500 over 2009, so 2011 was still a very high year overall for freshman enrollment (2012, too) even with the decline you noted
  • This is dramatically offset by the increasing rate of students taking more than 4 years to graduate.  So while freshman enrollment has decline the last couple years (albeit still at high levels), overall undergrad enrollment is up over that same period (+1,000 students since 2010)
  • Finally, I don't know whether this helps or not, but grad student enrollment is on the rise (yes, they go to games, too.)  Even if you assume they attend at a lower rate than undergrads, they added 400 students during the same year as that 250 freshman drop

All in all, the University added 1,400 students in the last 2 years.


September 4th, 2013 at 5:08 PM ^

Did anyone sit in the seats behind the student section and want to comment on how they were? Did people stand like they do in the student section? Did it have any of the same atmosphere? Was it an enormous pain to get in because of the student crowds?

I have never watched a game anywhere other than the student section and am a little tempted by some of these tickets on the resale market due to the combo of student section proximity and price...


September 8th, 2013 at 7:47 AM ^

I sit next to the seats (across the aisle) in section 34 that were just given back to the public.  I've had these season ticket seats for 11 years now and consider myself lucky that I did not lose my spot (which I love) to the AD temporarily expanding the student section. 

Anyway, to answer walshjen, I've noticed that people who are now sitting in these seats are decent fans who cheer, stand and are decked out in M gear.  It definitely has atmosphere.  I get into my seats an hour early and so far have not had any issue getting into section 34.  I imagine if you came later then yes, you would have a wait due to the GA students. 

The biggest problem now is with students with section 34 GA tickets thinking it gives them the right to sit ANYWHERE in section 34.  Yesterday we had a steady stream of students trying to sit in season ticket holder spots up at the top of section 34 and it created a lot of tension.  Only one time did event staff escort 2 of them out.  They really need an event staffer positioned at the top of the section or else this is going to happen all season.