Though the 2012 Michigan football schedule features 2 fewer homes games than last year, students will be paying more to attend each game this season for the second straight year.
Season tickets for students will cost $195 for six home games, or $32.50 per game, with an additional $10 service fee — up from $250 for eight homes games, or $31.25 per game in 2011.
Hunter Lochmann, senior associate athletic director and the Athletic Department’s chief marketing officer, said the price increase is necessary for the Athletic Department to maintain competitive and match the price level of other institutions.
“We realize that we are a little underpriced in some areas, and this (raise in ticket prices) gets us a little closer to that price (of peer institutions),” Lochmann said.
Lochmann added that Notre Dame charges $38 per game for student tickets and Ohio State charges $32.
Including the service fee, student season ticket prices amount to $2.50 more per ticket for the 2012 season, and the team will play only six games at home instead of the eight played this past season.
Michigan is scheduled to play Air Force, Massachusetts, Illinois, Michigan State, Northwestern and Iowa at home this season.
Marquee games against Alabama, Notre Dame, Nebraska and Ohio State will all be played away from the Big House this fall.
Lochmann said one reason prices were raised was to give students an incentive to arrive at the stadium prior to kick-off and not waste their well-spent money.
“We want more students who buy their student tickets to come (to home games). We want them to attend, we want them to get there early,” Lochmann said. “So by raising these prices minimally, we’re definitely not trying to price anybody out. We want students to show up early, it’s such a huge home advantage when they’re there early and loud.”
LSA sophomore Kate Maknev said she does not think the increase in prices will impact student attendance.
“Personally I don’t think that there’s going to be much of an effect because even though the price is higher, people might be more likely to sell more games to make back the money, and then just go to the home games that they want to go to,” Maknev said.
Compared with the 2011 season — which included a rivalry game against Ohio State and the Big House’s first-ever night game against Notre Dame — many students expressed frustration about the simultaneous rise in student season ticket prices and lack of big matchups at home on the 2012 schedule.
LSA sophomore Mitch Lapoff said he is disappointed with the number of home games that will be offered in accordance with the rise in ticket prices.
“I’ve only been a season ticket holder for two years now, so I’m not that used to any set price so I guess I’m more willing to have a couple years of rising prices,” Lapoff said. But I’d be alarmed if this (rise in student ticket prices) would continue for another year.”
Despite the rising prices, Maknev and other students said they will still purchase season tickets for the 2012 football season.
“I think sales might go down because there are less games, but at the same time I feel like Michigan pride is so big that people are going to buy the tickets regardless (of the price),” Maknev said.
Lochmann said the University had about 21,000 student ticket holders this past season, and hopes to maintain that number for 2012.
“We’re trying to create a lot more fun, a lot different atmosphere, and we want to make sure that students and everybody who spends their hard-earned money are getting a great show,” Lochmann said.