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Q&A on Ticket Prices

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I decided to do a little Q&A session regarding the recent drop in basketball season ticket price.

Q: What are the specifics on next year’s basketball ticket prices?
A: 300-level seats are going from $575/year to $275/year. Because OSU has 18 home games next year (including nine in the Big 12) this balances out to just over $15/game. In addition to this, the athletic department is offering a four-pack for $900 which comes in at $12.50/game (if you can find three other people to split it with).

Q: So everything in the 300-level is $15/game and under?
A: Kind of. According to okstate.com, “additional POSSE donations may apply, depending on location.” So it sounds like if you have the best of the crappy seats you have to give what amounts to a personal seat license ($270 more, in this case) but if you have the crappiest of the crappy seats you’re good to go.

Q: Have any of the other prices changed?
A: No, although if you’re in town for the spring game or the Remember the 10 run you can try to snag a 200-level or 100-level seat for $575 ($32/game) plus the aforementioned $270 POSSE donation. (Details HERE)

Q: If OSU wins its first ten games next year will Mike Holder distribute orange foam cowboy hats to the first 5,000 fans in attendance at the eleventh game?
A: No, not that I’m aware of.

Q: Was this the right move for OSU?
A: Given that attendance is down 24% from 2006-2007 and I think the Harvard NIT was legitimately the loudest GIA was all year last year (I can’t believe I just typed that) it was really the only move. Holder has gotten a ton of credit for backing off the gluttonous prices of the last few years, but really, what was he going to do, raise them? Like I wrote earlier this year, the problem isn’t necessarily the product (although it’s not helping) but really all the distracting entertainment competing for our time and money.

Q: How many times in the last three years has Travis Ford thought, “THIS is what they call ‘the rowdiest arena in the country’? We had louder open gym practices than this in Lexington!”
A: Very, VERY many.

Q: If OSU was coming off a 25-win season and Sweet 16 appearance, would this be happening?
A: No. According to the Tulsa World football season ticket purchases are up 38% from the same time in 2010 and those prices have stayed the same. That increase in tickets bought might correlate with the illustrious trio of new coaches OSU brought in but I’m going to go out on a limb and say it had more to do with the fact that they’re about to be rated one of the ten best football teams in America and went 11-2 last year. As Nolo pointed out to me in an email yesterday, OSU legitimately has a better football team than USC, Tennessee, Miami, Notre Dame, and Michigan right now. We’d call Holder crazy for lowering football ticket prices, which leads us to this…

Q: Can athletic departments survive if they treat their ticket prices as a function of the quality of their product?
A: It’s complex question and not getting any simpler any time soon. We, the fans, expect decision-makers to cater to our every whim while offering little to no loyalty in return. We jump on the bandwagon when its being driven towards a championship and jump off when it starts circling the drain. In turn, monetary survival becomes a guessing game for ADs. Will Nash pan out? How many people can I rope in with that giveaway? What’s the tipping point for away game ticket prices?

Balancing any budget, but especially one driven by fickle people like us who will swap entertainment allegiances at the drop of a Broderick Brown pick, is an unenviable job. At best.

Your thoughts?

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