Less than a day after revealing it had sealed the largest apparel deal in college sports history, the Michigan Athletic Department revealed more good news for the program Thursday.
After a 2014 season marred by national embarrassments, student protests, a resigning Athletic Director and a losing season, Michigan announced that it has ended season ticket sales for the 2015 season at 89,795, the highest total since 2012.
After selling just 11,597 student tickets last season — its lowest total in decades — Michigan has announced a 54-percent sales increase, capping student ticket sales at 17,899.
With home games against both Michigan State and Ohio State and the hotly-anticipated debut of Michigan coach and former star quarterback Jim Harbaugh, it's no surprise that ticket sales are up. But after giving away nearly 63,000 tickets in seven home games last season — including 16,923 in the team's home finale against Maryland — to keep the program's 100,000-fan attendance streak alive, the increase in sales is a welcome sign for Michigan nonetheless.
The sales increase is most notable in the student section, where sales have fluctuated from record lows to the highest total since 2012. There are many factors to such a rise, but price stands as the most notable change.
After charging students $295 for tickets the previous two seasons, the standard season ticket price for football fell to $175. In addition to the nearly 40-percent discount, the Athletic Department announced in February that need-based student tickets would be available for $100.
All three price points are lower than that of men’s basketball season tickets, which remained the same at $200 and offered $120 need-based tickets. Per-game prices, however, are still highest in football at $25 per game.
Student seating will be assigned based on attendance at the 2014 season’s games, with the policy rewarding better seats in 2015 to students who attended at least six games last fall and arrived more than 20 minutes before kickoff. The policy change comes after a shift to a general admission model prior to the 2013 season, which was met with uproar by the student body.
Non-student sales also increased to 72,076, the most sold since before renovations began in 2009.