There was a topic over on Utezone that expanded into some areas that have been discussed here, so I though I’d bring it over here to see how the members of this site felt.
Someone lamented the fact that certain sections of the stadium were not full for Saturday’s games, or even the game before that with ASU and WSU. While some of the lack of attendance was in the student section, al lot of it was in the higher priced ticket areas. Obviously these seats are paid for, but the owners chose not to attend. This impacts the overall ambiance of the stadium, so was it caused by weather, game time or something else.
In that discussion, the ticket cost was brought up. We’ve seen the letter on shifting the priority in the stadium to higher donor levels over grandfathered customers. One poster made an interesting comment, that most of those making large donations have expressed concern that other areas in the stadium were not paying enough in donations in essence getting cheaper tickets than the market would bear.
So the question is what is the correct course for the University, maximize revenue for the product or strive for a better fan experience. There is, of course the secondary issue of driving a wedge between the loyal fans and the program. Additionally, a lot of those fans that can afford to pay more for tickets are less active participants in the game than the younger, more energetic fans.
Add to the problem is the shifting demographics in the younger age brackets toward other areas of interest, which in part explains lack of attendance in the student section. Another issue is the more rigid adherence to the MUSS ticket policy. (I remember when I was a student we were required to pay a fee with registration toward “activities”, but we were given passes to the student section of games. I think that has changed).
A few years ago I felt society was trending toward a paradigm where most people would watch the game from other venues and that in stadium crowds would thin lowering ticket prices. This appears not to be the case, we are actually headed in the other direction, where only the elite will be able to afford to attend games in person. Is this a good thing?
I’m interested in the perspective of this board on the subject of ticket prices and attendance.