When Athletic Director Bill Martin announced that patrons would see a drop in football season ticket prices this year, he cited the tough economy as the reason. However, more goes into determining season ticket prices than just the economic climate.

Associate Athletic Director for Ticketing and Marketing, Marty Bodnar, said athletic department officials meet every year to weigh various factors in order to come up with the right price for season tickets.

“Before the season starts for the respective sports we just kind of huddle up amongst ourselves internally,” he said. “We consider anticipated demand, the past history of the ticket prices, what our peers or competitors charge, specifically the Big Ten, the state of the economy and the state of the program that we’re making the decision for.”

Bodnar said the Athletic Department has always offered season tickets for sports that students are more familiar with like football, men’s basketball and hockey, but this season was the second season department officials sold season tickets for Olympic sports like volleyball, wrestling and gymnastics.

“We just wanted to start doing that, we felt it was something we hadn’t done in the past and we wanted to start offering that to our fans who had done those sports,” he said.

Bodnar added that the new baseball and softball facilities, which opened last season, also motivated department officials to start offering season tickets to those sports.

“We had opened up new facilities for baseball and softball last season and with opening new facilities we decided it would be a nice touch,” he said.

But the Athletic Department sometimes gets generous. Season tickets for Olympic sports, baseball and softball are free for students. And this season, the Athletic Department even offered free tickets for men’s basketball games.

“We had excess inventory and we just wanted to expose as many students to Michigan basketball as possible,” he said.

But Bodnar added that students shouldn’t get used to having a free seat at a men’s basketball game.

“We don’t necessarily anticipate doing that, but we’ll evaluate going into the next seasons,” he said. “Our product, our team on the court, is much improved.”

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