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Posted on Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 4:17 p.m.

Students upset over increased Michigan football ticket prices and seating policy changes

By Kyle Austin


The Michigan Student section during a 2011 game.

Joseph Tobianski | file

Like thousands of Michigan third-year undergraduates, Alex Edema has spent the last three years as a football season ticket holder, tailgating and cramming into the maize-clad masses of the student section.

But when he heard this week that student ticket prices are going up and seating is changing from reserved to general admission, he decided he’s had enough.

“I feel like I’m getting shafted,” Edema said.

Edema, said he doesn’t plan on buying season football tickets next year after a lifetime spent as a Michigan fan. Tyler Phillips, another senior who sat with Edema Tuesday afternoon in the Michigan Union, said he’s on the fence about whether or not to buy tickets next year.

Edema and Phillips are just two of many Michigan students who are outraged by the new ticket policies unveiled this week. The price for 2013 season tickets is going up to $280 for seven games. Each game will now cost $40, up from $32.50 last year.

To some student budgets that are already tight, the increase is significant.

“We’re students, we don’t have a lot of money to play with,” said Kenneth Engeling, a sophomore who said he plans on buying tickets next year despite the increase.

But to most of a handful of students surveyed Tuesday on campus, the bigger issue was the change in seating. Students are currently assigned a specific seat, and those who have held student tickets longer are assigned seats lower in the stadium. Next year, seating will be on a first-come, first-serve basis.

That means students heading into their fourth football season like Edema and Phillips will sacrifice the seniority they’ve built up over three years, and be on the same plane as incoming freshmen.


Michigan fans celebrate during the Northwestern game last fall.

Melanie Maxwell | file

“It’s fine for anyone that’s going to be a freshman, or maybe sophomores, but upperclassmen are upset about it because they had to wait the two years to get up front,” Engeling said.

As of mid-afternoon, more than 3,200 students had signed a petition against the general admission policy on UPetition, a student government-sponsored site.

The petition claims the university is alienating upperclassmen, and requests that students who had assigned seating in the past be grandfathered in and new ticketholders be assigned general admission.

“As upperclassmen, we have worked for the past several years to earn the best seating in the big house. We were sequestered to the upper reaches of the stadium with the promise of better seats the next year. We put our time in, and it is disheartening to learn that we will not reap the benefits,” the petition reads.

A similar petition on had nearly 1,500 signatures.

The topic has been a popular one in conversation and on social media. Phillips said he and his housemates spent two hours debating the new prices and policies on Monday night. Edema said that of the seven other students he lives with, two of them have decided not to buy tickets next year and two others are undecided.

But of the other students Monday who spoke about the policy changes, none planned on canceling their tickets because of it, and said they didn’t know of any others who planned to.

“I’m still going to buy them,” Curtis Westbrook, a senior who will attend graduate school at Michigan next year, said. “It sucks, but oh well.”

According to the university, the change in the seating policy is to encourage students to arrive at the stadium in time for kickoff. The release did not say how long before game time gates would be opened for the general admission tickets or details about the line and simply said details would be released at a later date.

Most students surveyed agreed the fact that the student section rarely being filled at kickoff is an issue. Josh Kraus, a graduating senior, said he regularly didn’t get to his seat until 10 minutes after the game started.

“It makes sense and I think it’s good,” Kraus said. “It’s a good way to force people to be there early.”

But others questioned whether the new policy would really induce students to arrive at their seats any earlier than they already do.

“Whether it’s general admission or not, I don’t think people will care too much,” Engeling said.

The increase in ticket prices will go toward improving student recreational facilities, according to the university.

Westbrook works for the recreation department, and said that while he isn’t happy about the price increase, he understands the university’s recreation facilities could use upgrades.

“I know our rec sports facilities suck compared to Ohio State’s,” Westbrook said.

Yet the fact that students would be footing the bill for those upgrades is something not everyone agreed with.

“I’m sure they can find some donors to make their recreational facilities better, because that’s how they do all their expansions,” Phillips said.

Kyle Austin covers sports for He can be reached at or 734-623-2535. Follow him on Twitter @KAustin_AA.



Wed, Aug 7, 2013 : 2:31 p.m.

As an undergrad, I always got great seats...with 249 of my closest friends. We waited in lines, nice straight ones, and entered via the tunnel. :D


Thu, Apr 25, 2013 : 10:43 a.m.

Hit Brando where it hurts. If the students were truly impassioned enough they should plan to boycott the first game. Do you think Brando wants the 100,000+ attendance record to fall under his tenure because he pissed of the most important fan base?


Fri, Apr 26, 2013 : 4:15 p.m.

This is a fantastic idea. Consumers have more power than they realize, it's just tought to coordinate so many of them under one common goal. One empty game would probably be all it takes. With all this social media right now, seems you could make a pretty fun easy go of it; have people with big rooms and big tv's host game night, some bars could offer deals to get on the students' sides, etc.


Thu, Apr 25, 2013 : 1:33 p.m.

Yes, I agree teeters. A boycott of the first game or en masse, planned walk-out at half-time would make the athletic dept take notice. However, I suspect that won't happen and the students will continue to suck it up and just buy the tickets.


Thu, Apr 25, 2013 : 12:23 p.m.

Interesting idea!

Simon Margolis

Thu, Apr 25, 2013 : 3:48 a.m.

As a student and a fan ever since I started watching sports 10 years ago, I'm giving up my tickets too. Not because I'm afraid of not getting a seat in the front 30 rows; I just don't want to get into fights with other students, often inebriated, over seats. I have regular season ticket connections, I'll just sit with the old people and the Walmart Wolverines when I can get tickets.


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 8:20 p.m.

In the not too distant future it will cost 400$ to bring the wife and kids to a game ( assuming you have two kids). When your children turn 18 and you have no money to support their education you can say " sorry Tommy that you have to borrow money to attend WCC, but just think of all those wonderful football game you attended".

Jay Thomas

Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 8:11 p.m.

Don't blame Mary Sue, folks; she had nothing to do with this. Nothing to do with the $65 added to the students yearly tuition for the gym upgrades. Or anything that anyone might not like that the university did. On the other hand, she deserves credit for everything that could be considered positive during her time in office. Her legacy is intact. ;)


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 7:26 p.m.

I am very disappointed in the increased price and the introduction of general admission seating for the student section. It really shows Dave Brandon's lack of class and consideration for the same people who support him and the sports program at the University of Michigan. Remember Dave, without the students there are no sports programs, no university.


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 5:22 p.m.

As far as getting to the game on time...who cares? Get to class on time. If you bought tickets and want to drink through the first quarter, that's up to you. Slacker student football fans are part of the game. Quit trying to break attendance records; the Big House fits a lot of people, okay? If there are assigned seats and students switch throughout the entire game, fine. Doesn't seem to cause a problem from where I sit. Prices go up. You all go to a very expensive school. Get used to it.


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 4:57 p.m.

Also, Penn State is general admission and look what happens there. Students camp out, students are dedicated...the ones who deserve to get great seats are the ones who are willing to spend their time and energy to ensure it. Regardless of class or status, the folks who get there the earliest are the ones who deserve great seats!


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 4:56 p.m.

If you can't hack $56 in the face of $25K in-state or $45K out-of-state costs, then I feel bad for you, plan better. I think M football is worth and xtra $100 over Sparty student tickets ($175/season). If you're mad because GA will rob you of your entitlement as senior student to get better seats, show up when you're supposed to and get your seats. It was basically GA in the late 80s when I was a student there, so what's the difference? The difference was the student section was packed by kick-off back then. And for those of you who are taking shots at Dave Brandon, you are the same people that would complain if the athletic department was back in the red. Being 100% self-funded, staying in the black and maintaining a competitive edge is not an easy prospect, it takes $$$. Brandon is running it the way he should, as a business, and too bad, but that's what is has become.


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 3:43 p.m.

Pizza Man has one agenda: Make money. This is just one more example.

you can't handle the truth

Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 4:41 p.m.

I'd still take Pizza Man over Bill Martin.


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 2:24 p.m.

In another article, it stated over 5000 seats never get filled for the most games, sooo take them away and refigure sections and sell to public

Jon Wax

Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 2:06 p.m.

hysterical!!! how many of these students were the same ones protesting for tuition for whatever the pc term is used for folks who came here against the federal laws and stayed? too funny it's all good to spend taxpayer dollars on tuition for folks who aren't american but god forbid these kids have to pay real money to watch a football game? hyssssterical Peace Wax


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 1:55 p.m.

It's been 43 years since the fall of my senior year, but I would have been outraged at this. It is not only unfair to the upper class students, but has anyone really thought out how they will keep the "first come, first serve" seating peaceful - especially if there has been any drinking beforehand? Who is going to monitor this - or is that what the extra $$$$ will be used for (right!)? It's going to be a zoo. Very sad.


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 1:31 p.m.

Couple of thoughts: Pizza Man strikes again! All this CEO cares about is $$, which is why he was hired. The other thought is if these students can afford $1000/month bedrooms in lux student high rises, they can afford this increase in ticket prices. The difference is $7.50 x 7 games = $52.50. This is pocket change. Hey someone has to pay for all those renovations....


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 7:29 p.m.

Why are you assuming that all these kids are living in luxury apartments? Were all the students you knew when you went to U of M fabulously wealthy? The ones I knew sure the heck weren't..


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 1:03 p.m.

The heavens will fall--the price of a ticket went up by the price of one small drink or less at a bar ... I think everyone should go back and enjoy the Marx Brothers in Horse Feathers. How anyone can take college football seriously after this movie is a mystery to me. It should be required viewing for all candidates for president of UM!


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 1 p.m.

So students: Protest! Skip the CMU game. Or, at the very least, walk out en-masse at halftime. This is so disrespectful to the one section that actually makes noise game in and game out. Why do you think the players run over to the student section after every game? They appreciate the students. At least somebody does.


Thu, Apr 25, 2013 : 10:41 a.m.

GREAT IDEA! Do you think Dave Brando wants the amazing 100,000+ tradition to fail under his tenture? It would be truly impressive to see a student section not show up to a game in protest.


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 12:47 p.m.

Half the Big Ten schools already do it this way. I know some people don't like change, but it works far better. And as most have commented, it really isn't a change. Students don't sit in their own seats anyway, so it has already unofficially been GA. This will just cut down on the pregaming for some. Also should allow them to oversell some games. Read somewhere that the average number of student no shows last year was north of 5,000.

Dirty Mouth

Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 12:32 p.m.

I remember being able to walk into ANY game after half time, collecting bottles with my buddies, and watching the last half of the game(s).


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 12:19 p.m.

So if you are a student who produces the experience, you won't get paid for your labor. But if you are a student who enjoys the experience, you must pay handsomely for your attendance. Genius.

Blue Marker

Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 12:34 p.m.

It's a great gig if you can get it!


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 12:14 p.m.

The main issue with the price increase is that the athletic department (especial football) is running a multi million dollar surplus. Why is there a need to increase ticket prices that much? I will wait until July to come back to read all the comments when general public/season ticket prices are announced at $85-90. (That would be the same 23% increase). Oh, and wait until students realize that basketball tickets went up 82% to $200 for student season tickets.

Blue Marker

Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 12:34 p.m.

Over 25 million in surplus. But people like Brandon are only good at one thing, (and it sure ain't pizza) making money. I want an AD who can balance tradition with fiscal responsibility. If we had a person like that tickets would be lower in cost and we wouldn't have 10 different uniforms in a 12 game season. Don't even get me started on Rocket Man.


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 12:14 p.m.

Well, if you're an out-of-state student, you should be more ticked off that people who are in this country illegally will pay less tuition than you do.

Jim H

Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 12:13 p.m.

Student tickets were $3 or $4 each when I started. At some point I was disturbed by an increase and stopped buying season tickets. After a couple years, I realized how much I loved Saturdays with 100,000+ of my closest friends. Best place to be.


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 5:37 p.m.

Yes, in the late 1800's everything was cheaper than it is now. Even your two cents.

you can't handle the truth

Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 12:08 p.m.

Join the club. Brandon has been squeezing us for awhile. And the new basketball PSD is coming too. But look at the bright side. It could be a whole lot worse. Bill Martin, the imcompetent fool, could still be the AD making horrible decisions and making atrocious hires.


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 11:49 a.m.

Simple solution, do the seating in general admission sections. Sr. in a good section, jr. in a slightly worse, etc. I hate being pushed from the seats that I have squatted in by some drunk buffoon halfway through the game. I get there half an hour early at least. This policy rewards fans like me. The price thing is a different story. 10 years ago the student tickets were 19.50 a game. I don't think inflation has been +100% since then......


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 5:43 p.m.

On average, every decade has doubled the cost of everything; since the CPI-U started. Remember 20 years ago when a Coke was 50 cents, and ten years ago it was $1, and now it's $2.00 at your local gas station.


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 11:49 a.m.

Also, those of you complaining that Brandon is all about the 'money' need to get your heads out of your idealogical you-know-whats. It has always been about the money and it always will be. And when I say 'it', I mean everything to do with collegiate sports. We get other values out of sporting events, feelings of elation, collegiality, belonging, purpose, camaraderie, and so on, but the events themselves have always been about generating income to provide you with those other values, from which they derive income. Its a reciprocal relationship. The other values you get from UM sports are made possible by the money they make, which is made possible by the money you pay. If that were not the case, we would still be playing football on some random, mud-soaked, lopsided field with removable aluminum bleachers. And that would be because we didnt really care, because we didnt really get other values from the events.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 3:56 a.m.

When Bill Martin was AD the athletic department was in the black and he did the job as a service to his Alma Mater. There was not a push to make as much money as possible but to keep everything sustainable.

Blue Marker

Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 1:56 p.m.

The last fiscal year the UM Athletic Department reported a surplus of over 25 million dollars. When is it enough?


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 11:35 a.m.

I think this is a good move to get students there on time; they will adapt their partying accordingly. But to roll out two big changes at the same time was not wise on the part of the AD. Roll out the GA policy one year, the big increase in prices another year. But to hit students with both is not good management.

Kyle Austin

Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 12:30 p.m.

I agree, edjasbord, seems like it could have been spaced out more than it was. Some of the students I talked to yesterday seemed to think they could stomach one of the changes, but doing both in one year seemed like too much. But a few also thought Michigan could get away with it because of its strong home schedule next year.


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 11:23 a.m.

I think the unfortunate reality is that you have to have money to come to Michigan. The tuition and expenses are very high. I believe the cost of education is unsustainable. The change that is coming is to make the first two years of basic core courses as online courses with several hundred thousand students worldwide. There will be fewer professors needed and fewer students on campus. The student section will be half it's size (a dream come true for Brandon). The college experience will change.


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 9:09 a.m.

I don't get why it's so important to have students show uyp early. They get their money, who cares if the people who bought the tickets are late? Is it so it looks fuller on television? It's already almost impossible to get in the stadium on time with the swarming. And the drunk antagonistic students seem to be getting worse every year. Now you need to swarm even more of them at the same time?


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 9:41 p.m.

because on national tv it looks bad when your student section is half empty


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 7:59 a.m.

A number of years back, the Athletic Department took large blocks of tickets away from corporate season ticket holders who had supported the football team during the lean pre-Bo years. This was done in part to make sure that there were enough tickets for the students who were not always able to get a full season package at that time. Fast forward few years and it is getting to the point that corporate buyers are the only ones who can afford the confiscatory PSP and NFL prices for MAC or worse pre-season opponents. I have no problem with students having to pay 50% of face for their ticket package as I did when I was a student but now they are disrupting the tradition of upperclassmen getting better seats. In case you missed it, John U. Bacon nailed it in this commentary.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 3:50 a.m.

Just read the U. Bacon Blog as you suggested. Both of you are correct. I gave up our season Tickets to Football and Basketball. It was no longer fun under the current system. Another way of commenting is I just got tired of being "Played" to participate in what is becoming a phony tradition.

You Don't Say

Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 3:47 a.m.

College sports is becoming just like pro sports. Its all about the money. You would think the Athletic Department would be generating enough revenue from the private suites and preferred seating to keep the costs down for the students. Its a BIG business nowadays, not like when I was a student and could actually afford to buy season tickets and actually have enough left for a bottle of Boones Farm Apple wine to sneak in under my jacket. Yes Boones Farm Apple wine was huge at the games in the 70's. Sat next to Stan Edwards (Braylons dad) in one of my classes. Great guy. Come on Mr. Brandon. Lets keep things in perspective for the students.


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 2:30 a.m.

These students wouldn't be attending UofM if they didn't come from money. 90% of their parents pay for everything anyways, I'm pretty sure a $7.50 increase per game isn't going to break them. It just gives them something to complain about. GO BLUE!


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 11:52 a.m.

Plenty of kids get into U of M on their merits or scholarships and don't come from big money. What a ridiculous assertion that all students are so rich as to not care about this ticket price gouging.


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 2:12 a.m.

Why have big corporate sports teams when they have nothing to do with the school? Students should organize their own sports with real students, and just have fun!


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 2:39 a.m.

They already have that,. they are called CLUB sports. There is a club hockey team and a varsity team as well. There are also rec sports going on almost every day of the year.


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 2:09 a.m.

Can someone explain to me how this policy fills the stadium before kick-off? Aren't the empty seats the ones at the top, which will continue to be last filled by the late arrivals?


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 11:51 a.m.

Exactly! I see a little more competition among student for the very first rows (get on TV during the game), but no change in the emptiness of the upper half of the section. Getting properly drunk takes priority before getting to the game, and there's just not much time before noon games to do so.


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 1:59 a.m.

With respect to festival seating, aren't they just making the unofficial policy official? Maybe they figure they won't have to bribe the students to come early this way.

Howard Beale

Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 1:42 a.m.

Wait until State Rep Jeff Irwin of Ann Arbor demands that all "unauthorized imigrants" be given seats right on the 50-yard line for $5.00/seat!


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 1:40 a.m.

Students I feel your pain. As an alumnus and 25 plus year season ticket holder I was forced to buy a license to get over priced tickets this year. Sad part is when you graduate from the U they do not care at all. No perks for alumni what so ever. I am like many who have written in here I am going to give up my tickets in the next year or so. Brandon is a typical CEO who hangs with his rich buddies and has no idea how much financial burden he is placing on us working stiffs to enjoy Saturdays at the big house. When I started getting tickets they ran $140 a pair. Yes a pair. Now they are 7 times that. My wages with 25 years experience has only went up 2 to 2 and a half times. I do not donate to the U anymore. They show me no loyalty so I return the favor.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 3:32 a.m.

To Engineer -- I am thinking he same way. I gave my tickets up this year. The changes created by the AD the last few years in Basketball and Football have made keeping season tickets no longer a fun activity. One grows tired of being "played."


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 1:05 p.m.

Johnny: Did you know that careers in medicine actually have been associated with a relative decrease in salary (depending on payer mix) given the lowering of rates associated with medicare and the private payers following? Or due to bundling of charges? Did you know that businesses lay off people because there is a lot of downward pressure on financial inflows? Or how about government workers, who in no way double their salary in a decade? Engineer I'm sure is just fine with or without your approval. (note: I am not his/her mother saying this :) ) Your remarks strike me as either naive or particularly nasty, and unless you started as a minimum wage work where doubling salary is achievable, you don't live in the same world as I do.


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 2:38 a.m.

Sounds to me like you are not a very valued employee if after 25 years your salary has only risen 2-2.5 times. I would start looking int he mirror first. I had a professor tell me once, your goal should be to double what you make every 10 years. I have lived that goal my entire life.


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 1:27 a.m.

I have a different theory of why the students regularly miss the football games and you can see many empty seats during the game. The university is accepting many more out of state students because they pay higher tuition. These students don't have the same lifelong allegiance to the U-M that I did growing up in Michigan. Dave Brandon is all about making Money. Once some of the students drop out of buying tickets because of the general admission policy it will free up more seats in the student section which can be sold for full price with the PSD. He is bad for the university. I wish he would run for the senate again, lose, and then keep on running as far from Ann Arbor as possible.


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 12:59 p.m.

Your stats are incorrect. Out of state students have been fairly stable for years now, in the ballpark of 1/3 of students. Reasons that students may not be getting to the games include, early starts (though that doesn't explain the night game lateness), studying (no!!), partying and general debauchery, and generalized apathy. General admission will not change things for any of this, but it will shift where the open seats are. What increased prices may do, though, is force some students out which then turns these tickets into "FULL PRICE/FULL PSD" tickets which means more $$$ for David Brandon.


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 1:17 a.m.

Go Blue! Wow...these people have a real big set and are out of control with the cash and the property grabs.

In doubt

Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 1:09 a.m.

Ticket prices should be within reach of all students, not just those who have $$$$$$ behind them. All of them need a break and some entertainment. The ones that struggle the hardest and can least afford the tickets probably need a break from pressures the worst.

In doubt

Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 1:05 a.m.

It is THEIR school. The ticket prices are way to high to expect a student to pay. Most of them are probably struggling to live and eat. I feel it is just not fair for them to have to pay that much. About every day you read where the U is spending millions on this project or that project and tuition just keeps going up and up. Not fair to the students or their parents. Education and student well fair should be the priorities, not making money for the six figure people to decide what to invest in next.


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 12:47 a.m.

Heck --- you can barely watch UM football on TV for free anymore. You have go out and buy an expensive cable plan just to watch UM play MSU so I'm not surprised that they're gouging students that want to watch the game live. New years day had no bowl games on network TV. Never thought I'ld say this but my enthusiasm for college football has gone down about 60% over the past five years,Im getting to the point where I just don't care about UM football anymore.


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 12:56 p.m.

Ross--actually you are incorrect. ALL ABC/ESPN games are on ESPN now, except I think the Capital One game in the afternoon. I was surprised by that, but it is true, and has been for a few years now. Corporate decisions of course.


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 11:49 a.m.

The rose bowl is always on ABC. But you're right, putting everything else on ESPN is bullsh*t


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 12:40 a.m.

With general admission how and who will determine whether a given row is full? "Students, may I have your attention please? This row holds 24 and there are only 22 of you so you'll have to move over a little bit for these two" says the usher. This should be interesting.


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 1:32 a.m.

Not for nothing -- the entire STADIUM is like that -- the number of tickets they sell per row does not fit the number of bodies that actually fit in that row.


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 12:26 a.m.

And so it begins. Only for the rich.


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 12:16 a.m.

" Phillips said he and his housemates spent two hours debating the new prices and policies on Monday night. " Finals are coming up, right? Lemme guess - LS&A?

tom swift jr.

Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 12:10 a.m.

The price of a ticket for that recliner in front of the HD tv didn't go up, beer is about $1 a bottle, pizza is delivered, and there's no fat guy hogging my space.... I'm not seeing the problem here....


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 3:19 a.m.

Works for me too!

sun runner

Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 12:29 p.m.

I had season tickets when I was a student in the late 90s and I enjoyed the hell out of attending games. But now I'm old, I hate crowds, and I don't want to stand up for hours. I got a huge LCD TV last year and as far as I'm concerned my living room is the best place to be to watch games. My house also features no long lines for gross bathrooms...and a fridge stocked with Michigan's best craft brews.

Blue Marker

Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 12:14 p.m.

I hear what you're saying Tom, but I have to say the feeling in the stadium during the night game with ND two years ago or even MSU last year was incredible. There is something special about being there. But the older I get the more I share your line of thinking.


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 12:02 a.m.

Maybe the folks in the luxury boxes could subsidize the cost of student tickets. Just sayin'


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 12:27 a.m.

No! You are subsidizing them!!

Andy T

Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 12:10 a.m.

Yeah, it's getting expensive to sit down there in steerage.


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 11:55 p.m.

As long as there is a secondary market for football tickets, students can sell them to cover their increased costs. These tickets became a commodity long ago. Business is business and business must grow. College football has changed forever. How long before it loses its tax-exempt status? How much longer can "seat donations" which are mandatory be tax deductible while out government can no longer provide basic services like an affordable public education or even enough air traffic control to keep the planes on time?


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 12:03 a.m.

If it's a business, then start paying the athletes. Notice I didn't say student-athletes.

Kyle Austin

Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 11:35 p.m.

I'm curious as to what other issues will arise from this change before big games. Students will probably be lining up well before they open the gates, and sitting in the stadium for a while before kickoff. If some of them decide to bring their pregame drinking to the line or into the stadium, obviously that could pose issues.


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 11:28 p.m.

The thing that Brandon doesn't realize, whatsoever, is that rich fans are worse fans. The most expensive seats in the big house, near mid field, are the quietest and lamest fans in the entire stadium. These old folks should really just watch from home, because they make our stadium so entirely passive and non-threatening for opponents. And (more) boring for the rest of us. Keep jacking up the ticket prices continuously, and the entire stadium will be nothing but a bunch of quiet, passive, non-committal bandwagon fans. It's already been happening over the last 15 years since I have first started going to games with my dad. I am not poor, but I already refuse to pay face value for football tickets. Watching at home on a 60" flat screen, or at the bar with friends (and BEER), is pretty fun, and much more affordable. Don't get me wrong, I'd rather go to every game, but the price is just ridiculous. Especially with parking and food. So this entire plan of his is counter-productive. Of course, Dave Brandon doesn't really care about that anyway, it's all about the revenue for him. That's what you get when you stick a CEO in as athletic director though.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 3:17 a.m.

Ditto to Ross and Blue. Keep playing around with these "mandatory" fees and ticket prices for students and The Big House will become The Quiet House as they go somewhere else.

Blue Marker

Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 12:02 p.m.

Well put Ross.


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 11:22 p.m.

Agree a2cituzen as well as more and more info on concussions $$ will be there first Even I, a diehard M fan, though about moving back to end one and will at some point give up tickets - my salary nit rising at same rate


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 11:20 p.m.

After having 4 season tickets for about 35 years I let them go this year. I could care less now what they do!


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 11:03 p.m.



Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 10:59 p.m.

Ps my last post first sentence should be saying ticket prices and seat fees increased for everyone not just students


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 10:57 p.m.

All tickets and PSDs have increased it just students. It raises the question how far athletics can go on price and am not sure if they care for the average fan. Michigan athletics has some major facilities they are supporting as well as student athlete scholarship with essentially nothing from the University itself It would be interesting to compare top 25 major programs both student and non-student average game prices and seat fees for both basketball and football as well as hiw much the dept is self-funded


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 12:52 p.m.

I actually think that the goal of every one of these universities is to increase the cash cow that athletics has become so they can continue to build "better and bigger" stadiums, get corporate donors and the wealthy, and not to be concerned for the common fan. Average salary for US citizen according to Wikipedia is in ballpark of 50-75K. For UM grads, since we are all SO successful of course (wink, wink) it is probably 10 times that. *yeah, right. So, cost of 2 tickets and PSD is actually a significant chunk of that 50-70K, particularly when considering taxes and other costs of living. You think the university cares about that? Cost for education is even more laughable, and the fact that some students may actually need to study--the purpose of the university, no?--or do research is not on the mind of Brandon. Rather, his cash cow is, and President Coleman, Vice President May (of development) and everybody else in administration is either unwilling or unable to rein it in.


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 11:07 p.m.

"... It raises the question how far athletics can go on price..." I've wondered this for a few years now. There has to be some point where customers feel they are not getting their money's worth. When that happens, and it will, it will be the Armageddon of college football.


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 10:49 p.m.

I understand Alex's frustration with the situation. But then too many of his co-horts are not showing up in a timely fashion to games. I know Alex, so I know he is not one of them. But my son, also a U of M student had this to say about the change: "Good, then the drunken frat boys won't show up after the end of the first quarter and expect their seats to be there." Go to the game on time, sober, party later kids.


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 9:02 p.m.

Johnnya2 - actually, you CAN`T just walk in to Hill (or the Power Center, Michigan Theater) whenever you want - there are late seating breaks for most performances.


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 8:21 a.m.

Unfortunately, the drunken fans will still show up (like they do in the rest of the stadium) and with general admission seating, the student section will turn into a free for all. I try to be on time at all events; however, I agree with johnnya2: this is a recipe for disaster. The Who concert in Cincinnati in 1979 is all the evidence that you need to prove GA seating is a bad idea. Good luck to the ushers in the student section and you better have plenty of police on hand.


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 3:45 a.m.

Well now I can guess who comes to the theatre late and steps on my feet on his way to his seat.


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 2:33 a.m.

Great sentiment EXCEPT, who the hell are you to tell me what time I should show up for something I PAID for? If I go to a concert at Hill, I will walk in whenever the hell I feel like it if I PAID for the ticket. GA is a disaster waiting to happen. You have no right to a seat, so if you get up to go to the bathroom, you will lose your seat, if it is an especially big game there will be fights over seats. If you don;t think it could happen, Google The Who Cincinnati

Kyle Austin

Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 11:33 p.m.

You're right, Alex and Tyler both said they're there plenty early to watch warm-ups. And I did hear some folks express similar sentiments as your son's.


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 10:43 p.m.

Want to know why tickets cost so much? Two words - Title nine.

Chase Ingersoll

Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 7:33 p.m.

Tom Thank you for mentioning that. I would also include Title One and Two of The- Americans with Disabilities Act. I'm not arguing the overall cost/benefit or harm of such legislation, just noting that like any legislation that has resulted in litigation - it raises costs cost of construction, operation and in the case of Title 9 has resulted in funding the athletic activities of female athletes on the backs and brain head trauma of football players of whom a significant percentage are black and from the inner city. Nice irony. One person's equal opportunity is another's head injury.


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 1:45 p.m.

Title nine, Dick Nixon's biggest mistake.

Macabre Sunset

Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 3:53 a.m.

Actually, no. Title Nine carries a built-in cost that every university has to pay. Michigan football tickets cost a lot because there's a high demand.


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 11:57 p.m.

Try assistant football coaches at $500k/year.


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 11:23 p.m.

I would have guessed greedy athletic director but it's 3 words......U of M will soon have the biggest savings account for sports of all Universities.....


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 10:18 p.m.

When my father attended games as a student in 1939 tickets were a part of your tuition and you didn't have to pay. You got them for free. My 91 year old father days even when he was in dental school the tickets were about $3 or $4 back then. He agrees with the current students that it is a little too much. After all they are students and should not have to pay THAT much money.


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 1:09 p.m.

FYI, Inflation: At $3 in 1943 (70 years ago, father approximately 21 ), this would be about $40 in today's dollars, which is exactly what the students are paying.

Kellie Woodhouse

Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 10:01 p.m.

OK, seriously, last note here. U-M just instituted a $65 annual fee on students for gym and union renovations. That's required, not optional. Now, I know student gyms and unions are not run by the athletic department now, but not long ago student gyms were under the purview of the athletic department. This ticket increase, along with the mandatory fee increase, is a notable uptick in cost for the student who likes to watch athletics and be athletic-- both of which are heavily promoted by the school.


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 2:29 a.m.

Spend one minute in the NCRB, the IM or CCRB and you will realize the upgrades are a decade or more over due. By the way, students who use the rec buildings are not always the ones who go to athletic events. Some people enjoy swimming, but not necessarily going to the football games. Some enjoy the football games without working out.


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 11:01 p.m.

Have you seen the condition of those gyms? :)

Kellie Woodhouse

Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 9:51 p.m.

One more thing: If you look historically, just in the past three years football prices have increased significantly. In 2010 student season ticket holders paid about $28 per game, now it's $40. The $7.50 increase experienced this year is triple the increase last year ($2.50).

Blue Marker

Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 11:54 a.m.

$95.00 for a small space on a bench 80 rows up is outrageous. I'll hang on to my tickets until my son's finished with school but they Brandon can have them.

Macabre Sunset

Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 3:50 a.m.

It seems reasonable. Hoke is three times the coach his predecessor was.


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 11:22 p.m.

I say it's bad business for the University too in that they are discouraging people that would be committed life-long fans to gain 75,000 per game.


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 10:07 p.m.

All tickets have went up. It seems like they alternate: one year they raise the ticket prices. The next year they raise the seat license prices. Game day use to be a fun it's paying major league prices to watch minor league talent (with a lot of hassle thrown in).


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 9:45 p.m.

I assume the tickets students don't buy get sold to the general public at about $66 per seat. Hmmm, I wonder what Brandon is really thinking. This is a good educational experience for the real world. Learn the meaning of BOHICA. You will go far when you understand meaning.

Kellie Woodhouse

Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 9:45 p.m.

Interestingly, this new general admission policy will likely achieve the athletic department's goal of getting students in their seats early. Dave Brandon has long lamented the fact that most students don't get to the game until midway through the first quarter. The university has started a loyalty program (launched in fall 2012), but I imagine the fear of bad seats (or the incentive of awesome seats) will be even more motivating.

Blue Marker

Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 11:43 a.m.

@ Kellie, What Brandon should have been embarrassed about was the Rocket Man himself and not the half empty student section who missed DB's used car salesmen trick. Palm-plant.

Lizzy Alfs

Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 10:26 a.m.

One of our coworkers who went to MSU, where they do the general admission policy, said he would get to the MSU/UM game 2 hours early to get decent seats. This really changes things for UM ticket holders.

Stupid Hick

Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 11:21 p.m.

Therefore, part of the solution is to raise the price? Yeah, that will fill the seats.


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 11:20 p.m.

I bet the top is still empty, I could see some issues with how they plan on keeping people in the correct seats, if I sat out for 2 days to get front row and someone tried to sneak in, I'd be pissed.....

Kellie Woodhouse

Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 9:47 p.m.

In this article, I quote Brandon as saying that 'Rocket Man,' who delivered the game ball after arriving via jet pack in 2011, was "flying toward an empty student section."

Dog Guy

Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 9:44 p.m.

1960's U. of M. students were allowed to buy two football season tickets @ $5. I would pass mine on to interested adults (i.e. over-21) for about enough to cover a year of tuition, which was then $154 per semester for as many credit hours as you wanted to take (12, 18, 19, 25). The U. then valued students qua students and had every professor teaching them. A happy memory is explaining to Ronald Berman of U. C. San Diego that he was scheduled for nine hours of teaching (including a 120-student freshman survey) rather than his wonted one luminous hour per week with five PhD candidates. Ah, the good old days have continued ever since for me.

Jay Thomas

Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 8:05 p.m.

9 hours a week of work for the professor... that's terrible. The academic life ain't easy. :(


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 3:53 a.m.

@ Harpster: If no price on your mom's ticket, and if she was a student in 1955, she may have got it free. In the early 50's a student's season ticket was free, and if he/she were married, it was only $15-$20 for a spouse (whole season). Boggles the mind, right?


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 12:27 a.m.

Before the 1969 ohio st game the only games ever to sell 100,000 were against MSU. In 1967 the osu game only drew 66,000 spectators. College football grew because it was an inexpensive product with a great game day experience.


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 11:11 p.m.

I'm holding in my hand a Student Admission ticket stub from 1955. The price is not on it but Capt. Meads picture is along with a stadium shot. It says Sept 24, Oct. 1-8, 15-29, Nov. 12-18. This was my mom's and I know she didn't pay much of anything for it. Looks like it did come out of a ticket book and does have a seat number... Sec 33, Row 75, Seat 23.

Macabre Sunset

Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 9:39 p.m.

I feel like I'm getting shafted by the NFL. I would like two on the 50-yard-line for a reasonable $20 per ticket, but Roger just laughed at me. So I told him I just wouldn't go this year, and he said that was my right as a consumer.

Stupid Hick

Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 11:20 p.m.

Sorry, the NFL can do what they like, and you can take it or leave it, but the goal of the U-M Athletics Department should NOT be to monetize every aspect of amateur college sports to maximize profit. It's improper to equate students to consumers.


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 11:19 p.m.

You had no expectation of seats on the 50, yesterday most seniors complaining were set to get tickets in the first 30 rows after probably not having them for 3 years. I got row 4 my last year and it was amazing....


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 9:28 p.m.

I can relate to the incoming seniors as that same thing happened to me in coming off football wait list and when PSD started. It is called life and changes will always upset tradition.At times, it has been embarrassing how empty our student section is through the first quarter and getting there a bit earlier instead of doing more beer pong is not the end of the world. If not buying tickets is your protest then I guess you weren't really into being fan or supporting your fellow student athletes. Sounding like an old fart, we were in our seats and actually watched pregame show I have been to other schools with the open seating and it has worked fine.

David Briegel

Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 9:19 p.m.

"I feel like I'm getting shafted". You are!


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 8:48 p.m.

Easy way to solve the seating problem upperclassmen...Quit drinking half hour earlier and get to the stadium before the game starts.

simply amazed

Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 8:41 p.m.

In 1980, 6 games cost $36 in the student section.


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 8:36 p.m.

As a student in the 80's, I don't think I ever sat in my assigned seat once. We sat in our assigned section, but seat and row did not matter. That still holds true today. As for price, we paid half the regular price, so $40 per ticket does not sound out of line, since the tickets go for $80+.

Lizzy Alfs

Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 10:24 a.m.

I graduated in 2011 and I can say, people definitely don't sit in their seats. Plus, there was always exchanging of tickets going on, so people would go to their seats, then walk back out with a handful of tickets to get their friends in their section. It's kind of a zoo.


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 10:19 p.m.

No, Kyle. This historical perspective isn't anything like "somewhere close". At least it wasn't when I was a student in '79 - '84. It was "you have to go in through the correct tunnel entrance, but then all bets are off". I didn't always end up even in my own section. After naively going to my assigned seat for the first game of my freshman year (row 10, I think; the crossbar was eye level right in front of me), I don't think that I ever went within 20 rows of that spot again for the rest of the year. Of course, that was before the field was lowered. If you were in the first row, your foot level was also field level. And there were video screens to look at when the play was at the other end of the stadium. Nobody *wanted* to be that low.

Kyle Austin

Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 8:56 p.m.

I asked students about that today and they seemed to agree with you. Students have to sit in their section and somewhere close to their assigned row, but few are actually in their seat. They said some can move up a little bit into better seats, but if a freshman tries to move up to row 5, he's going to get booted.