SBD/April 24, 2012/Colleges

Rise Of Big Ten Football Ticket Prices Part Of Continuing Trend

Michigan and Ohio State led the nation in football attendance last season

The cost of football tickets in the Big Ten has been "on a steady rise over the past few seasons," according to Matt Charboneau of the DETROIT NEWS. Purdue and Illinois "joined the Michigan schools in raising at least some of their football ticket prices" for '12, while "every other school has had some type of cost increase" in the last three years. Among the six BCS conferences, the Big Ten has the second-highest average "cost per ticket for its premium games" at $64.67. When looking at attendance figures from the past three seasons in the Big Ten, it is "not hard to see that the teams that draw the most fans are near the top in ticket prices." Michigan and Ohio State "led the nation in attendance last season, and the rivals are also among the most expensive in terms of football tickets." At Ohio State, an eight-game schedule in '12 will cost season-ticket holders $560 "along with a donation of at least" $1,500. At Michigan, the season-ticket packages for its six-game season are $390 "with a donation ranging from as low as" $50 to as much as $500. For those "struggling to fill seats, it's a constant battle to balance ticket costs with decreasing demand." At Purdue, where the attendance has "dropped for three straight seasons, officials are attempting to make it easier for their fans to attend." While the premium seats "have gone up minimally, lower-end seat prices have been dropped almost" 33%. Demand for tickets is "not the only reason for increased prices." All schools are "dealing with rising costs, from coaches' salaries and the cost of paying for scholarships to the simple costs of transporting its teams to and from games." While football teams "often fund the bulk of a school's athletic department, those costs add up quickly" (DETROIT NEWS, 4/23).

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