Increased football ticket prices not scaring students

BY JESSIE SMITH | MARCH 04, 2010 7:30 AM

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Even though season-ticket prices for 2010 Iowa home football games will increase for the first time in three years, UI students don’t foresee fans shying away from Kinnick Stadium come September.

“I think if you’re a true Hawkeye fan, you’ll go regardless of what the price is,” freshman Emira Deumic said. “I mean not necessarily if they were hiked up $100, but $2 a game isn’t that much.”

Deumic said the student season tickets jumpfrom $154 to $168 likely won’t affect sales — especially among her peers.

That increase in student season tickets alone is projected to bring in more than $145,000. And with the Hawkeyes slated to play Iowa State, Penn State, and Ohio State in Iowa City, freshman Tyler Gill said the strong home schedule is worth the extra money.

“I mean its Iowa. It’s the Hawkeyes,” he said. “Everyone wants to go to the home games. If we didn’t have such a strong home schedule, I’m sure people wouldn’t want to buy [the tickets] and spend extra money on them.”

On Monday, the Iowa athletics department also announced that general public season tickets will increase by $3 per game to $360, and UI faculty and staff tickets will go up by slightly more than $2 per game to $290.

Typically, UI Associate Athletics Director Mark Jennings said, the athletics department raises prices every two years, but officials opted to wait a third year because of the economy.

Only ticket prices will change, he said. The cost of game-day parking and chair backs will not be affected; their price increased before the 2009-10 season. Prices for the Hawkeye Express and Iowa basketball games will also remain the same.

The department has 10,400 season tickets set aside for students for the upcoming season, Jennings said. And despite the raised prices, he does not anticipate student ticket sales to decrease.

Instead, he suspects there may not be enough to accommodate the high demand.

“Iowa football is a very popular entertainment value right now,” Jennings said. “We just don’t think we’re going to have a lot of discourse from our fans because of this.”

Iowa Associate Athletics Director Rick Klatt said prices aren’t going up to specifically support the football program; the athletics department examines its expenses as a whole rather than focusing on individual sports’ revenues.

Raising prices is necessary for the department to remain self-sufficient, he said.

“As always, increases in ticket prices are a reflection of the fact that we are a self-supporting unit,” Klatt said. “So we need to generate the revenue that will pay all of our expenses.”

One of those expenses is athletics scholarships, which will increase as well because of the 6 percent tuition hike set for the 2010-11 academic year.

Describing the 6 percent jump as “ a huge number,” Jennings said rising tuition will force the athletics department to dole out even more money to Iowa’s student-athletes — an expenditure he estimated will cost the department “hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

“It’s not like they go to school for free,” he said. “We pay their scholarship needs, so our costs have gone up dramatically because of the tuition increase.”

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