Ohio State football: Trustees vote today on ticket price hikes
Ohio State fans planning to attend the Wisconsin game this fall will likely have to pay $110 if university trustees approve a new premium-ticket plan at their meeting today.
The trustees are expected to vote in favor of raising home football and basketball tickets to both help offset rising operating costs of the school’s 36 sports and increase the athletic department’s support of academic programs.
Football prices for 2013 would go from $70 to $79. Ohio State last raised football ticket prices three years ago.
The proposal would also allow the university to decide whether to have one or two premium home games each season.
If there are two games, one would cost up to $125 and the other as much as $150. The university would charge up to $175 if there is only one premium game, such as the Michigan game.
Students would pay an additional $2 per ticket but would not have to pay the premium prices.
Athletic director Gene Smith will decide which games should be premium games, and at which price, before each season.
Smith said he’s recommending just one premium football game for this fall to try out the new pricing plan. Wisconsin was a natural choice, he said, because “they’ve been a decent rivalry for us.” That game is Sept. 28.
Men’s basketball tickets would go up starting with the 2013-14 season, by $6 for the best seats and less in other areas of Value City Arena for conference games. There would be no price increase for nonconference games unless they are designated premium games.
Ohio State could designate up to five basketball games — conference or nonconference — as premium games.
Several trustees praised the proposal during a finance committee meeting yesterday, even though the increase might be hard for fans to swallow.
“It’s never an issue of what Ohio State can do, but consideration of what OSU should do,” said former Nationwide CEO Jerry Jurgensen, who heads the finance committee.
Jurgensen said he is confident university officials considered the impact of higher ticket prices on fans and will be careful to not price the tickets out of the market.
Smith said fans often pay far more than the recommended premium amounts when they buy from scalpers or ticket resellers such as StubHub.
He said he doesn’t expect too many people to turn their backs on the team because of the increase.“Our fans are passionate,” he said.
The price increases are projected to generate an extra $6 million a year, much of which could be devoted to academic purposes, Smith said. The athletic department gives about 25 percent of its budget for scholarships and to help with other academic needs.