It’s money that they love, part two.

Ladies and gentlemen, here’s what the people running the sport we love so deeply have to say to you:

“I think [ticket prices will] go up until you reach a point where there is a breaking point,” said Jason Heggemeyer, the assistant athletic director for ticketing at Illinois. “That will be controlled by the market. If people are still willing to pay for that entertainment value, then I don’t think we’ve seen yet what the limit will be.”

They don’t even bother to hide it anymore.

We’re little more than wallets and their interests lie in calibrating how easily and deeply they can reach into us.  When it’s not about pure greed, it’s about making up for their own financial goofs, but either way, play your part and take what they give you.  Because that’s all you’re gonna get.

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28 Comments

Filed under Big Ten Football, It's Just Bidness

28 responses to “It’s money that they love, part two.

  1. TimRankine

    We’re all suckers, or at least treated as such. The professional sports maxims of soaking the fans (made-for-TV start times late at night, often “flexed” from a day start with a week’s notice) are gonna be played out more and more on the college scene.

    • Ginny

      I knew I was a sucker when I paid $200 for a student ticket to the 2008 UGA/Bama Blackout game. Uhh yeah that worked out great.

  2. SCDawg

    I can’t speak to the Big 10, but what will come back to bite UGA is so many games being on tv, HD TV being more affordable and much better than a few years ago, more restrictions on tailgating, more $$ for parking which is further away, and the cost of gas being nearly $4 a gallon.

    Why go to the game? I can sit in my living room and drink good beer out of a cold glass. I think the breaking point is going to come faster than they think.

    • paul

      For all the reasons you mentioned above and the fact that I moved five hours away for a job, we let our tickets go this year. I doubt I am the only one. I received more than a couple of calls offering me various deals.

      • Anon

        I’m intrigued by these “deals” you mention…

        • MaconDawg

          I call BS.

          • paul

            I’m not saying they offered me anything they wouldn’t offer anyone else. I doubt they did. Though we held our tickets for a number of years we are by no means major donors. In addition to several emails I did get at least three calls with different suggestions about how I might be able to continue to support the team and the Hartman Fund and keep our tickets. Two of those calls came well after the deadline for contributions had passed. That’s what led me to believe that they might have had a few more non-renewals than usual. I could be wrong. It has happened. But I don’t lie.

            • MaconDawg

              Ok but it sounds to me like they weren’t offering deals as much as they were following up to confirm that you didn’t want to donate/renew, which is standard operating procedure.

              • paul

                Again, not saying that what I was offered was not standard operating procedure. But I could have paid long after the due date and I could have paid considerably less and still gotten tickets.

                • MaconDawg

                  The ability to donate long after the due date is nothing new. SOP.

                  However…”I could have paid considerably less and still gotten tickets”…I would be interested to know what this means if you care to share. I understand if you don’t but that won’t exactly lead me to believe you.

        • paul

          Well I’m not going to throw the athletic department under the bus. I love Georgia football and I want to support the program as well as the athletes. We’d been buying tickets for a number of years so we had a pretty decent point total built up. They didn’t want to loose our support. I understand that. It’s their job to minimize churn. My issues are primarily with the way the NCAA, the BCS and the SEC are proceeding. For instance, I despise McGarity’s scheduling philosophy. But the reality is, given the current environment, it’s the correct approach because it gives our program the best chance to succeed. I think that sucks. But I think it’s true. Similarly, once the NCAA and the conferences decide that philosophically speaking, maximizing revenue is the primary goal, then the member schools have to decide to either get on board or get left behind. There is a huge chasm developing between the big name, revenue producing programs and everyone else. No one wants to be on the wrong side of that abyss. The money train is quickly leaving the station and everybody wants a ride. The fact of the matter is, as much as we hate it, and I do, if McGagrity lets it slip through his fingers then where do we find ourselves? I think we’re danged if we do and even more danged if we don’t. We’re already way too far down this slippery slope. And I have run out of metaphorical cliches. Meandering semi-rant closed.

      • Raleigh St. Clair

        Yep, the exact same scenario for me. UGA simply offers nothing for the money they expect.

    • The other Doug

      I would add lame home schedules.

  3. JaxDawg

    It would be nice to afford tickets but since our local (Duval Cty) public schools are ruined (due to certain cultural “deficiencies”), that annual private education for 2 children sucks up the last of my disposable income.

  4. Mike

    I have been a Florida fan for 30 years. This year it was very, very hard for me to cut that check for both the booster fees and the ticket prices.

    Perhaps part of that had to do with the product for the last two years. But in past years I have happily cuts those checks when Florida has not done well.

    I think the combinations of age, the fact that virtually all games are now available on HDTV and the long drive from Atlanta has caught up with me.

    • Keese

      I know being a Gator must be tough on ya Mike.

    • Saint Johns Dawg

      Mike, I hear ya. I can only get my UGA tix now because I pool resources with family, not on my own. But I attend maybe one game a year plus the Cocktail Party due to the great TV/Saturday-on-the-couch opportunities.

  5. Cojones

    Don’t we give Michigan credit for being stupid as they walked into a ballyhooed game with their fiscal facade down? Seemed like a lot of “assumes” were in their thinking tied to their home game culture? Going into a Jerry Jones-owned stadium was for his profit as well. His house, his seating price. So why can’t they negotiate the Michigan seats down (in order to fill them with Mich-Tex based alums from their 60k tickets) and…..Holy Crap!, college football has been snookered and drop-kicked into the NFL.

    My remaining days as a college football cynicism fighter have just been tallied. You just kept chipping until the dumb shits got it, eh Senator. Certainly someone will stand up and defend where we are headed or attempt to stop it. That’s my best depressed Disney Dawg effort today. Already did the first part to the quote; now I think I’ll just go blind.

  6. Joe

    I always treated the players and the college game as an a adjunct to the college experience, but the way they think and talk, I now am seriously going to re-think my expectations about the product and the experience I get being to my liking or I am no longer donating huge sums for the “right” to buy tickets and paying for primo seats.

    And if that happens, there is NO reason not to go back to the pro game, where I understand their loyalties to the “pro” part of the game.

    I think we just found out what we are, they’re just haggling over our price it appears.

    • I think we just found out what we are, they’re just haggling over our price it appears.

      I don’t think we’re just discovering this. As the Senator says above, they just aren’t bothering to hide their intentions anymore. It’s always been like this, but the stakes were never this high so the fans haven’t been as expendable in the past.

      I’m fairly new to the season ticket process. I graduated in 2007 and 2012 will be my second season as a season ticket holder. While I clearly see the intentions of the ADs, it is difficult emotionally to just throw my hands up in the air and say “Screw it, I’m not spending all this money on these tickets and my annual donation and will instead spend it on the home experience” when I just got into the line. It’s hard to give that up and go back to the waiting list. Then again, I haven’t been contributing lots of money nearly as long as some of you fellows here.

  7. Aligator

    It now cost 500 for a weekend trip to be at a game when you think of all that it entails, used to be you could spend a 100. I love watching the games live each year, but it is also great sitting on my couch. Someone however is paying those prices week in and week out. It is like a minivacation for most people.

  8. 69Dawg

    Have gone from 6 season tickets to 2 in 2 years. This very well could be my last year then it’s the HDTV for me.

  9. Jrod1229

    You know why we keep forking over whatever it costs to go to games? The SECCG first half, the original Auburn Blackout, etc.. that atmosphere at events like that can’t be replicated sitting at home. After a loss, yes, I’d rather be sitting at home.. after a win can’t replicate that feeling.

  10. Raleigh St. Clair

    And that’s why it was a no-brained for me this year to discontinue donating and purchasing season tickets.

    The boring, mediocre UGA teams + the increasingly watered down schedule = an overall product that was no longer worth the total cost.

    It makes more sense to purchase tickets on the after market for the 1-2 games that are worth seeing in person.

  11. Connor

    It’ll be interesting to watch fan interest over the next decade and where it’s directed. It’spossible that with rising the quaility of TV coverage and the associated emphasis the leagues and teams are putting on the TV product contrasted with the rising cost of attending games some epic bubble is about to burst. College football fans are not the most logical bunch though. Hard to imagine Bryant Denny or Memorial Stadium not being filled up for a game.

  12. AlphaDawg

    I’m 8 hours away, so HDTV is my only option, and it has everything I need for a great gameday experince except Short Skirts and Sun Dresses. But my remedy for that is a $15 Cab ride to the local ‘Goodtime Emporium’ after a win.

    When i’m in town I have no problem spending $500 for a weekend in Athens, if I were local I’d have to rethink that i’m sure.

  13. Governor Milledge

    I’m surprised no one else has commented on the pricing talked about in the MSU/Michigan article itself, but I don’t think it quite merits the doom-and-gloom the Senator makes it out to be…

    MSU is just instituting a Fund donation? Even the ‘Cocks have a requirement for their dumpy stadium. I can’t comment personally on the full season ticket pricing, but it doesn’t seem to be approaching the average UGA game cost either.

    For the MGoBlog article, I think they’re playing with fuzzy numbers and aren’t looking at the full picture. I know there was a post around the last time we re-upped the GA/FLA series that talked about the opportunity cost by splitting $x every year instead of alternating that benefit every other year. We come out net positive financially on our GA/FLA arrangement vs a home-and-home, that’s for sure