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Volume 26 No. 174
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Univ. Of Minnesota Cuts Season-Ticket Prices For Hoops, Hockey

The Univ. of Minnesota is lowering some of its season-ticket prices, "hoping to boost sagging attendance numbers" for men's basketball and men's hockey games, according to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. Season tickets for men's basketball will start at $340, the "lowest price" since the '95-96 season, and men's hockey season tickets will start at $500, "down from $600 one year earlier." While UM is "reducing prices" for its cheapest season tickets, the "more expensive packages will cost the same." The men's hockey team's average announced attendance at 3M Arena at Mariucci was 9,595 as "recently as three seasons ago before dropping to 8,726 and 7,944 the past two seasons." The men's basketball team has a 14,625 seating capacity at Williams Arena, but average announced attendance has been "thousands below that for years." The team "averaged 10,774 for home games this season, down from 11,850 one year earlier" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 4/19). In St. Paul, Andy Greder notes for the "more expensive seats in better locations, this decrease has been offset by increases to seat 'contribution' costs, keeping these ticket prices at the same level into the upcoming seasons." UM's announcement "did not address how the required contributions donations factor into the season-ticket costs under the new pricing structure" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 4/19).

PLAYING CATCH UP: In Minneapolis, Sid Hartman writes one of the "biggest challenges" for UM athletics is "figuring out how to compete against other Big Ten programs that bring in more revenue each season." Penn State's football program alone reportedly brought in $100M in revenue in '18, while UM's entire athletic department brought in $125M in revenue last year, with $115M in "operating expenses." UM's $10M in earnings for '18 came "despite a lack of attendance in the athletic department's three major revenue sports: men's basketball, men's hockey and football" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 4/19).