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Volume 24 No. 180

Colleges

Univ. of Texas football has "not raised football season ticket prices" for '18, marking the third straight year of doing so, according to Brian Davis of the AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN. There are also "no changes to the grandfathering policy with UT donation requirements." UT AD Chris Del Conte said that school officials are also "making wholesale changes to the student sections and student ticket policy for next season." Students will be "moved to the southeast corner of Royal-Memorial Stadium, and all student seating will become general admission." Meanwhile, the school has yet to see "how the tax law changes will affect season ticket sales." As part of the tax overhaul enacted by Congress, new legislation "eliminates tax deductions for the seat donation component of the season ticket purchase." Previously, one new season-ticket purchase on the 50-yard line "cost $4,160 -- $3,500 of which paid for the donation while the remaining $660 bought the actual ticket." A majority of the $3,500 was then "considered a tax deduction." Renewing season ticket-holders "may have a far lower donation requirement due to the grandfathering policy." Existing season ticket-holders "have until March 8 to renew at their current prices" (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN, 1/12).

The Big Ten has extended its deal with Riot Games for two more years (through '19) as it is "pushing deeper into competitive video gaming ... to expand competition between campuses across the Midwest," according to Eben Novy-Williams of BLOOMBERG NEWS. The partnership "builds on a pilot version launched last year," in which clubs at 12 schools competed in Riot’s "League of Legends" game. Matches were "broadcast and streamed live via the Big Ten Network. BTN will "handle production for the league, including negotiations for a digital streaming partner." Riot will continue to "fund scholarships through the schools, a $35,000 payment per institution to be divvied up among its gamers" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 1/10). ESPN.com's Jacob Wolf noted the league now "includes all 14 Big Ten schools." Penn State and Nebraska "did not participate" in the inaugural '17 season. The '18 season is "set to start" toward the end of this month (ESPN.com, 1/10).

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