The price of admission
Are you ready for some football?
Are you ready to pay more for it?
Over the last week, EMU has announced the single-game ticket prices and ticket packages for the 2014 season, and prices are definitely on the rise.
First, let’s have the good news: EMU students still get in free with a student ID, with no advance ticket reservation needed. The other good news is that adult general tickets are only going up a little…if you buy them in advance.
For single-game tickets, EMU has two sets of prices. Buy your tickets in advance and pay less; buy your tickets on game day and pay more.
Advance purchase prices are $12 general admission ($5 under 12), $15 reserved seating in sections 104-106 ($7 under 12), $7 per ticket for groups of 10 or more, and $5 per ticket for groups of 100 or more. On game day, prices go up to $15 general admission ($7 under 12) or $20 reserved seating ($10 under 12).
The big price hike isn’t in the ticket price, however. Parking, which up until now has always been free, will now cost you. EMU will charge $5 per vehicle, and $20 for motor homes and other vehicles that will take up more than one space. So if you’re by yourself, the cost of attending a game will be 70% to 100% higher than last year, from a $10 ticket and free parking to a $12 to $15 ticket and $5 parking.
What about season tickets? In the past those were a pretty good deal, especially if you planned on going to all the games.
Not so much any more. Youth season tickets are $50, which works out to the same $10 per game that you’d pay for reserved seating on game day. You could just buy those reserved single-game tickets in advance for $35 ($7 per game for five home games). Faculty and staff get the same $50 season ticket price, and compared to the adult admissions, that’s a pretty good deal. General public season tickets are $75, exactly the same as what you’d spending buying five single-game reserved seating tickets (and if you don’t care about the reserved seating, that season ticket would cost $15 more than buying five general admission single-game tickets). Chairback seating is now $300 ($100 for tickets, plus a mandatory $200 “donation”), and suite seating is $1,650 ($150 for the ticket, plus a mandatory $1,500 “donation”).
But maybe you’re thinking that season ticket holders would get free parking included, or even a discount? Not a chance. People who buy the suite seating will get free VIP parking, but if you’re paying $1,650 to watch a season of EMU football, you probably don’t care that much about spending another $25 to park. All other season ticket holders are subject to the same parking rates.
There are a few extras that sweeten the deal a bit for season ticket purchasers. Anyone who makes a $50 deposit toward any season ticket will be invited to a special event before the spring game. Each season ticket also includes two complimentary tickets to any in-conference road game, which if you’re interested in travelling, is a pretty good deal. They also promise an invitation to the 2014 team banquet (which I guess means they’re going to have one this year, after the will-they-or-won’t-they mess last season), regular emails from Chris Creighton and Heather Lyke, and “a special season ticket holder gift” (one source tells us he got a signed football with his ticket to the pre-spring game event).
Altogether, I think the season ticket prices aren’t bad, but they’re hardly the great deal they’ve sometimes been. As for the prices overall, for many years, EMU football has been one of the best entertainment values in southeastern Michigan. It’s still not terribly expensive this year, when compared to other teams (I’m not just comparing to Michigan — have you looked at what other MAC schools have been charging?) but given this increase in ticket prices, the team had better win more than one or two games. Otherwise, the last few years of attendance will look like sell-outs in comparison to what’s to come.