Comments on: Column: The True Cost of Football Tickets it's like being there Tue, 16 Sep 2014 04:56:38 +0000 hourly 1 By: RW RW Fri, 28 Dec 2012 23:44:49 +0000 “His successor, Dave Brandon, served as the CEO for two Fortune 500 companies, and is worth well over $100 million. His salary at Michigan is fast approaching a million dollars, including bonuses. For the first time in Michigan’s long history, the athletic director makes more than the president.”

While I agree with the basic premise — the cost structure on both the buy and the sell side is out of hand — my understanding is that Brandon has donated on the order of $4MM back to Michigan. If true, he has been, and will be for another 2 years or so, working for free. My take is that he isn’t taking the money because he needs it, but because the university, as it does in other cases, needs to establish benchmarks for future talent and to keep the budgetary process in touch with external market realities (as to compensation practices and the trust “cost” of the pricing framework).

By: Jonathan Jonathan Sat, 15 Dec 2012 14:03:33 +0000 Its the difference between providing exciting community stimulation and exploiting the communities interest.

By: Matt Matt Sat, 15 Dec 2012 11:37:40 +0000 I remember the cheap seats in the 70′s, most
Ann Arbor kids from that era had a blast
on those Saturdays. I don’t really have an
issue with rising ticket prices, it’s how It
has to be.However, I do have a problem
with the way they cram more and more
people in the stadium every season
to hold on to the attendance record,
and I’m no longer comfortable being
shoehorned into a bench that has
at least 10 more people on it then
there should be if our relative comfort
was a concern of theirs. I love the
pre game tailgating experience
outside the stadium, and I go
to most of the home games to
experience this, and only went
into the stadium twice after
tailgating. On the days that I
didn’t go in I went to a local
bar to watch it on a big screen
TV, and I also viewed a game
on a TV that was on the side
of another fans mobile home
at the golf course, that was
interesting. I think this is
way I will do this from now
on, unless I can buy my way
Into one of the skyboxes, which
probably won’t happen. Us
older fans need to be comfortable,
I’m willing to pay extra for that

By: Carol Carol Fri, 14 Dec 2012 14:55:00 +0000 This the situation as it stands in college football. I gave up UofM games after junior high when we could no longer get into a game at half time free. Somehow I keep track of the team but never get to see the band which has always been a great part of the show. And I still bleed maize and blue, but not over the football program. I know it supports all athletics, and that is a good thing, but at what cost?

By: Grady Grady Fri, 14 Dec 2012 14:54:01 +0000 It is hard to blame Brandon, since obviously he was hired with the mandate of squeezing every dollar out of this program he can. My issue has long been these super smart people cant see the forest beyond the trees. They are killing the golden goose and acting befuddled when it happens.

When you build up games like the Alabama game into a “bowl like atmosphere” (Brandon’s words) the downside is every other normal game becomes second fiddle. I cannot recall so little interest in U-M’s home opener this year because the ‘Bama game took so much wind out of the season. Playing Notre Dame under the lights is fun – for that moment. Then, you have to play a cupcake the next weekend and fans, alumni, etc. are not all that fired up, are they? Are the payers either? Why should they be excited to play Indiana at noon? ND at night is the event; who cares about the other games.

It was not that long ago tickets were at a premium and you had to pay above face to get in – every game. Then the NCAA added a 12th game, which gave U-M as many as 8 home games a season. Now, I can get tickets to most games for $20 the day off (this past years schedule was terrible) and pay face for the MSU game. Where is my incentive to buy season tickets?

Throw in gimmick games and how much interest will there be against Northwestern in November in the cold? The program has trained its fans to focus on the gimmicks at the cost of normal Big Ten games. This is also a trend of college football, so U-M is not alone. But the focus should be on the Big Ten games. As the author pointed out, the games were the experience, not the gimmicks of today.

There are as many as 8 games on a normal Saturday at the same time, just on basic cable. Over exposure is hard to predict because you are never over exposed until you are over exposed. The key is not to get to that point. The NCAA is quickly approaching that point, but they do not seem to notice it as long as the cash keeps coming in.

If you up the price for the tickets and there are empty seats where there were none before, perhaps you made a bad decision. If you pretend non-conference games are a big deal, don’t be surprised when conference games are not a big deal. If the NCAA wants 8 games on Saturday afternoon, don’t be surprised if fans sit home on the couch and watch them on their flat screen.

Perhaps Brandon and the U-M will listen to the fans (and the empty seats) and re-think their position.

After all, that is what a good businessman would do.