By Alex Schiffer
For a lot of college students, Saturdays in the fall are the most unproductive day of the week. When college football season is in full swing it’s a tall task trying to get anything done on gameday. If your school is playing a morning game you start your day off at the stadium and spend most of your day there. And if your school has an afternoon or night game you spend the rest of the day waiting for the game to happen. With other games on and tailgates to attend, homework doesn’t seem like that big of a priority.
But the price students are paying for season tickets at major football schools, that should be.
Student season tickets continue to skyrocket as athletic programs continue to jack the prices up for their most loyal fans to sit in the stands. In a story by Scout before the 2016 football season, the University of Oregon charges students $367 for season tickets. That leads the country.
Yet the price doesn’t match the quality of the product. Oregon finished the 2016 season with a 4-8 record, which put the Ducks near the basement of the Pac-12 Conference. So what does that mean for the price next year? Will Oregon raise the price again, which would make it harder for some students to afford tickets? Or will it acknowledge that it’s mediocre season warranted a discount for students so they don’t skip the game.
My school, the University of Missouri charges students $165 for season tickets, which is the most expensive price in the entire Southeastern Conference for football-only tickets. Missouri hasn’t made a bowl game in two years and has seen its attendance dwindle in recent seasons.
Contrast that with another SEC school, the University of Alabama, who has won several national championships in recent years. Student ticket packages run $10 per game, plus a $2 to $3 processing fee.
Students are the alumni and donors of tomorrow. Athletic programs need to decide what a fair price is for student season tickets if they want those seats to remain filled after they graduaute.
Alex Schiffer is a recent graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism