We are not alone - Ohio Ticket Problems

Submitted by Yo_Blue on July 30th, 2014 at 8:17 AM

A good friend of mine sent me the following.  It appears that the gloating down south about Michigan's apparent problems selling tickets is a bit premature.  The difference is that Ohio is taking steps to disguise their problem a bit better than we did.  The following is a letter that went out to OSU faculty and staff:

Dear Ohio State University Faculty and Staff:

     I am extraordinarily grateful to the Ohio State faculty and staff who work every day to make our university great. Together we  have accomplished many significant successes that are a direct reflection  of your dedication and teamwork. For that, I would like to personally thank  you.  To recognize your valuable contributions, President Michael V. Drake, MD, recently announced Ohio State’s inaugural faculty and staff appreciation Buckeye Football Game. A large number of faculty and staff have an opportunity to be randomly selected to  receive four complimentary tickets to the Ohio State vs. Kent State football game on Saturday, Sept. 13. Kick-off is at noon.

     In order to participate, faculty and staff must follow the link below and select the opt-in box on the landing page.*   By selecting the box to opt-in, you’ll enter your name into  consideration for the tickets. If you are selected, tickets will be mailed to  the home address listed in Employee Self Service.

   Thank you again for all that you do for Ohio State. We’re excited to recognize your achievements by offering you the  opportunity to cheer on the Buckeyes with your fellow faculty, staff and  friends.


     Andraea (AJ) Douglass


They can't move the Kent State tickets so they are giving them to faculty and staff real quiet like.  Can't let them hit the secondary market b/c that will just lower the prestige (and pricing) of attending the sell out.  Even if you have a top 10 or even top 5 program you can out price your market.  OSU is on the bubble right now.  So all those fans making fun of UM's ticket deals will only have to wait to see their own team's ads all over Columbus TV.   Greed, greed, greed.  John Bacon needs to point this out and shame Gene Smith and the moneygrabbers down there.



July 30th, 2014 at 8:22 AM ^

This seems like comparing apples to oranges. They possibly have a problem selling out ONE home football game. Even then, how many tickets are we really talking about? A few thousand? We, on the other hand, are having trouble filling multiple games. Also, student attendance is down from 20,000 to 12,000. I don't think this warrants a comparison. But that's just me.


July 30th, 2014 at 9:48 AM ^

Well, yes and no. UM will fill that stadium for big games against good teams. But when PSU it's you're best home game, yeah it will be tough. What happens next year when they have the big rivalry games in Ann Arbor? Will this blog then say how the fans are coming back because of the product.

814 East U

July 30th, 2014 at 8:35 AM ^

This is a college football problem. They tried to become the NFL without the product and facilities and this is what happens. In addition, watching on TV is better in a lot of respects.


July 30th, 2014 at 9:46 AM ^

This makes the resale market real attractive. I have a michigan ticket this year, and the value of watching from 20 minutes away from the stadium and still being part of the festivities makes selling the ticket for ~600 bucks to finance a spring break trip to south Florida pretty attractive.


July 30th, 2014 at 8:43 AM ^

I understand your points but I do think you are trying to put alot of spin on this.

I found this line to be particularly funny:

"Greed, greed, greed. John Bacon needs to point this out and shame Gene Smith and the moneygrabbers down there."Yeah..how dare those greedy moneygrabbers give underappreciated faculty members a few free tickets as a nice perk. The nerve of them. 


July 30th, 2014 at 9:44 AM ^

Yeah my mother is one of those that- despite not ever attending sporting events- goes on and on about how ticket prices are absurd. Tickets are a luxury item because even at those prices, people spend the money, and value tickets at that rate. You don't see people complaining about the price of diamonds for being market-valued above what seems logical. The market works these things out and it won't change until the market changes.


July 30th, 2014 at 8:47 AM ^

Interesting that this is a country-wide phenomenon, while CFB is at the peak of its popularity. I don't think it has to do with lack of WiFi. I think we are at the point where ticket prices have just become too high for 100k+ people to afford them week in, week out.

Steve in PA

July 30th, 2014 at 9:30 AM ^

I have been getting the same emails about a "Great opportunity to purchase Penn State home game tickets at face value". One problem is that the home schedule is so terrible nobody will purchase tickets for those games at face value and instead will purchase them from scalpers at the game for $10.

I predicted this would happen when I went to the Michigan @ Penn State game when RR was the coach. Many of the fans around us were expressing their displeasure with upcoming seating changes. They had grudgingly swallowed the PSL scam on top of paying Nittany Lion Club extortion fees for years. But, they had also been informed that their seats were being moved for the upcoming year and into the future.

Fans that had paid for and held prime seats for multi-generations were being uprooted and put into end zone or upperdeck seats. At Penn State it was, and still may be, quite common for dead people to renew their seats so that the rest of the family didn't have to go back into "the pool" for seating. I'm sure it's also common at other large schools.

Yes, with large screen plasma TV's and surround sound systems, and networks dedicated to various college conferences it's now preferable to stay home to watch than fight traffic and get shook down by the athletic department. I think college football is becoming an event driven phenomenon rather than a season one. I'll gladly pay a scalper or stubhub for the one game I "must" see instead of paying for a meh season and the fees associated with it.


July 30th, 2014 at 2:17 PM ^

It doesn't help that pretty much everything else has gone up as well. When did parking become $20? When did a coke become $4? Or a hotdog $5? When did a t shirt become $25? Or a hoodie $60? 

People are not dumb. There's only so much you can raise everything before people say screw it and stay home because they can buy an entire pizza for $10 and a pack of beer for $10. They don't care about wow experiences or anything that Brandon keeps thinking will work when it won't. It's all prices. 

Maize and Blue…

July 30th, 2014 at 9:25 AM ^

to still overpay for a crappy schedule, What a deal over $500 per seat after the reduced donation to sit in the EZ when I can go to the secondary and save myself a lot of money.  It was nice when I had the "non-renewable" season tickets for two years, but DB came in and saw three "marquee" home games and started the ticket pack which wasn't very successful this year.  I didn't even get any type of consideration for having four season tickets the year before for purchasing a ticket pack. I also never got the invitation for the so called deal despite having those "non-renewable" season tickets.

I got PSU game tickets from the Alumni Association for a birthday present for my kids and any other games I attend will be purchased at a significantly reduced "dudnamic" price.  Funny how DB only uses "dynamic" pricing.


July 30th, 2014 at 11:21 AM ^

I don't agree with all of your comments, but this is the sentiment I get when I purchase.  Maybe I'm becoming unique about this considering how much everybody complains about the gameday, but I love going to games.  I don't care whether it's The Game, UTL, or Central Michigan.  I just love being in the Big House.  Even if the schedule sucks - it does this year - I was still going to buy.

However, I always feel like I'm getting stiffed when I go through the athletic department.  Outside of student tickets, I have yet to see a "better" deal through the box office.  I'm sure there are examples and it's happened to other people, but it just has not been happening to me.  Even the night games ended up far cheaper on StubHub than people originally anticipated.  One of the Michigan blogs actually did a comparison between your average season tickets and StubHub and found out you saved a good hunk by using StubHub.  That's not how you're going to get more people to buy tickets.

This isn't something unique to Michigan and I like supporting the athletic department - regardless of what they do - but I'm also not going to act like a fool and buy through them, especially not this year.  I'm willing to bet that 6 of the 7 games end up being cheaper online.

For me, that's the reason I'm not buying tickets right now.  Essentially, because I just don't think they're working to my advantage.  I'll wait and buy from the AD's "official" secondary market instead and save money.


July 30th, 2014 at 8:48 AM ^

Well considering that we sold out season ticket packages and student packages, I would think that tickets were set aside for this cause. That being said, many students are planning to try to sell their tickets for that game so it isn't surprising that there are available tickets for it.


July 30th, 2014 at 8:50 AM ^

Complaining about empty seats is pretty dumb until they're...like...actually empty. Am I the only one that sees 8,000 fewer disinterested students as a net gain? It's not brain surgery, the U will email deals until they sell out(look at basketball $5 promotions, they still pop up despite all the success). Football will still be profitable. The stadium will still have 100k plus, and the world will go on.


July 30th, 2014 at 10:08 AM ^

If you're strictly looking at the economics of it(and not so much worried about supporting the program) season tickets probably don't make a lot of sense.  It's basically a guarantee.  If you're willing to spend some time on the internet(and vary seat location), you can probably beat that mgoblue price, even in good years.  If you're willing to wait till kickoff, you can get those seats for pennies on the dollar.  You're buying security.


July 30th, 2014 at 10:59 AM ^

I understand the older generation is personally offended when students don't arrive 30 minutes prior to kickoff and when there are spotty or empty patches in the student section. The "disinterest" is in the pregame experience and the frustrating/mediocre/disappointing team. Once everyone's there and the game starts, it still drives all of the stadium's energy. It will be interesting to see what kind of dropoff in noise and enthusiasm there is, especially if the team is once again a letdown.


July 30th, 2014 at 9:16 AM ^

The market sure doesnt think the two situations are similar.  Here's a look at season tickets for sale - as of five minutes ago - on StubHub:


OSU: 244 total tickets for sale.  Low price of $1,244 with a high of $4,919

Mich: 714 total tickets for sale: Low price of $414 with a high of $3,200

Maize and Blue…

July 30th, 2014 at 9:32 AM ^

about never getting the reduced donation offer they said they must have screwed up and would gladly get me two tickets in the EZ. With donation it came to $525 per ticket so someone isn't even getting face value for their tickets plus taking the hit on the donation.


July 30th, 2014 at 9:46 AM ^

That's not remotely the same.

And Ohio State sold 30,000 student tickets to Michigan's 13,000.

So, in conclusion, not remotely the same.


July 30th, 2014 at 10:04 AM ^

It's a nation wide issue. More and more people would rather watch from the comfort of their homes than deal with the hassles of going to the stadium. All the stuff about ticket prices, the product on the field, the weak schedule, wifi, etc is just noise on top of a downward trend


July 30th, 2014 at 10:40 AM ^

Well, no its not just noise. When the in-home experience becomes better than the in-stadium experience, that means you need to adjust to make the in-stadium experience much better. 

Schools that have good home schedules, wifi and good teams and are of Michigan's stature are going to face less ticket sales problems than Michigan because Michigan hasn't been good, doesn't have a strong home schedule and doesn't have wifi, on top of expensive tickets. We're pretty much the bottom of the barrel when it comes to giving the fans anything they want, which is why while teams like OSU may be having some ticket sales problems, they aren't even close to the level we're at. 

Which is of course our Athletic Department's fault, for numerous reasons. 


July 30th, 2014 at 10:58 AM ^

Maybe noise is the wrong word, but there's definitely a larger trend underlining our issues. The 7-6 season, war against students, and really lackluster schedule definitely didn't help, but even fixing that, I think long term convincing people to go to games is going to be an uphill fight (especially for a fanbase as resistant to change as ours)

Prince Lover

July 30th, 2014 at 12:57 PM ^

I don't buy season tickets because it's a luxury I can't really afford and I get called in to work a lot on the weekends.
But, despite my 60" tv (no surround sound system yet) in my man cave, I would go to a game in a heartbeat over watching it on tv. Watching tv in no way compares to being at the Big House. Not even close! No one can convince me the game day experience is better surrounded by a handful of people compared to 100,000 people who share the same love for the same team in the natural elements.

Just my opinion though.
A nice 9-10 win season this year followed by next year's schedule, and this constant talk of ticket sales will be over.
Go Blue!


July 30th, 2014 at 10:44 AM ^

But it's been "nationwide" for some time now.  It's only recently that we've been included in the problem as we were largely immune from the attendance issue..  That's why it's a big deal around here - we were always above the fray and now we're knee-deep in the hoopla along with everybody else.

Here's another interesting StubHub tidbit.  The OSU/Kent game we're comparing ourselves to has 1,772 tickets for sale right now.  We have 3,785 available for Appy State and 4,987 available for Miami.  And I dont think the ticket office has put the unsold tickets on StubHub yet so that number could dramatically swell IF the rumors about ticket sales being far worse than the Athletic Department is letting on are true.



July 30th, 2014 at 11:02 AM ^

We're not immune, we're just at the far end of the bell curve. Storied programs with rabid fans like ours are the last to feel the trend, but it doesn't mean it doesn't effect us though. There are other factors that compound the issues (lack luster football program, schedule, price, etc), but IMO, that's just gouges in the veneer, eating into our inherent buffer as a historically top program and exposing a bigger problem that's plagued a lot of people and will continue to plague many more.