Cyber-side Chat No. 86: Football Tickets and Parking

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Cyber-side Chat No. 86: Football Tickets and Parking

TO: Fans, Friends, and Supporters of LSU Athletics

FROM:  Skip Bertman, Athletics Director

In my recent letters to you, I have explained the finances associated with LSU Athletics.  I hope I have provided a good understanding of how money is made and spent in our athletic program.

This week I want to discuss a proposed change in the cost of tickets and reserved parking for LSU football games for the 2007 season.

Next week we will propose to the LSU Board of Supervisors an increase in the cost of single game tickets that will range from a $4 increase per ticket up to a $9 increase per ticket depending on the opponent.  Also, reserved parking passes for automobiles and motor homes will now require a Tradition Fund contribution depending on the location of the parking lot.

This ticket and parking plan is critical for us to properly manage our athletic budget, to maintain a superior coaching staff, to continue our facility enhancement plan and to provide quality service for our customers and our student-athletes.  It is a reality of our business that ticket price increases are inevitable for athletics programs such as this one that must pay its own way with the use of no state tax dollars.

The business of college athletics is a challenging one.  Like in any business, costs rise annually with inflation.  But other factors impact expenditures as well.

  • The changing market value of quality coaches is driving up personnel costs: we have incurred an increase of over $1.3 million in salaries and benefits in just the past year.
  • The cost of putting on a football game ? particularly costs associated with security and clean up ? continue to rise: that area has increased in cost by over $750,000 over the last two years.  The cost for police alone rose from $25 per hour to $40 per hour last fall.
  • Airline and hotel costs are examples of factors that are out of our control.  And travel costs can multiply quickly, especially when you have to move 450 athletes and 20 sports teams around the country for competition:  we have incurred an increase in travel costs of over $785,000 over the last two years.
  • Like every business in Louisiana, our utility costs have risen:  ours have jumped by over $990,000 over the last two years.
  • Insurance rates, another factor that is out of our control, have also hit everyone hard:  our share of risk management costs on the LSU campus has risen by over $1 million over the last two years.

Yet the resources for generating new revenues can be limited, or at least reach a ceiling that makes it difficult to tackle rising costs.

As outlined in my last letter to you, over 56 percent of LSU’s revenues come from ticket sales and donations associated with ticket sales.  And while we work hard to maximize our revenues in other areas such as sponsorships, merchandising and private donations, we must continue to analyze and adjust ticket and parking costs to address our financial future.

Beginning with the 2007 season, we are proposing that tickets for games against non-conference opponents will cost $40 each, and tickets for games against Southeastern Conference opponents, plus non-conference opponents designated as “premier games,” will cost $45 each.

In 2007, tickets to LSU’s games against Middle Tennessee and Louisiana Tech will cost $40 each.  Tickets to LSU’s SEC games against South Carolina, Florida, Auburn and Arkansas will cost $45.  Also, LSU’s game against Virginia Tech will be designated a premier non-conference game and tickets to that game will be $45.  The total cost of a season ticket in 2007 will be $305.

In 2006, tickets to all games cost $36 each, with the exception of one SEC game that was priced at $45.  With eight home games, the cost of a season ticket in 2006 was $297.

There will be no increase in the Tradition Fund in 2007, the contribution required for the purchase of approximately 45,000 season tickets in Tiger Stadium.  Also, there will be no change in the price of student tickets in 2007.

We will also propose for the first time the requirement of a Tradition Fund contribution to purchase reserved parking passes near Tiger Stadium.  Contribution levels will vary depending on the lot location and whether the pass is for an automobile or for a motor home.

The cost of an automobile parking pass will remain $300 per season.  Beginning in 2007, an additional $200 Tradition Fund contribution will be required for reserved numbered space automobile passes in lots nearest Tiger Stadium, and $150 for lots near the stadium that do not have reserved numbered spaces. For reserved lots further away from Tiger Stadium, a $100 Tradition Fund contribution will be required in addition to the $300 cost of the pass.

Motor home parking has become a staple in the tailgating tradition at LSU.  The demand for motor home parking and the services associated with accommodating motor homes has grown tremendously.  We plan to add more security, which will provide for more consistent enforcement of policies, and more services, such as port-o-lets and trash clean-up, to this growing area.

Motor home passes in Touchdown Village 1 and Touchdown Village 2 will remain $500 for the season.  Beginning in 2007, an additional $500 Tradition Fund contribution will be required for Touchdown Village 1, and $250 for Touchdown Village 2.

Motor home passes in Lot CA on the front row next to South Stadium Drive will cost $500 for the season plus a Tradition Fund contribution of $5,500.  Last year these passes cost $5,000 each with no contribution required.  Motor home passes in Lot CA on the back row near lot C will cost $500 for the season plus a Tradition Fund contribution of $4,500.  Last year these passes cost $4,000 each with no contribution required.

Increasing the cost of tickets and parking passes is never an easy decision to make.  Our customers are important to us, and it is a delicate balance to measure the impact of price increases against the ability to fund a quality program for those customers to enjoy.  I hope my last several letters to you have given you an understanding of our decision-making process and the need to make these changes.

We welcome your comments, so write to us at LSUvision@etigers.net.  Although we cannot promise a response to every e-mail we receive, please be assured that every letter will be read.  Thank you for your continued support of Tiger Athletics.