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Tuesday, September 30, 2014
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Published: Wednesday, 7/31/2013

UM switch increases profits

BY RACHEL LENZI
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

On the second day of ticket sales for the Michigan football season, some football fans purchased the big tickets — including a ticket to “The Game” against Ohio State.

Yet Michigan’s ticket sales wasn’t a come-one, come-all affair. Instead, UM is selling individual-game tickets this year in a three-day, dynamic pricing model. Using a computer-based program, single-game ticket prices are determined by current market factors and variables including historical sales trends, ticket sales from the previous season, secondary-market demand, and marquee matchups, notably home games against Notre Dame and Ohio State.

Forbes.com projected in July that Michigan stood to generate more than $5 million from the model.

Single-game tickets for Michigan’s seven home games went on sale Tuesday to UM donors and football season-ticket holders. Remaining single-game tickets went on sale Wednesday to Michigan’s digital community, including those who follow the Wolverines on Facebook and Twitter, and go on sale to the public today.

Three-packs of tickets also were made available in a presale on July 17 to “Michigan Insiders” — donors and season-ticket holders — who were informed via email that a three-pack of tickets to three of six home games could be purchased for $245.

“We looked at the ticket marketplace out there, and then we looked at the trends and we realized that more fans are getting tickets on the secondary market,” said Hunter Lochmann, chief marketing officer for Michigan’s athletic department. “We wanted to come up with something where we got a return that would help support the other teams and programs at Michigan.”

College and professional teams also sell tickets through dynamic pricing, including Purdue football single-game tickets, the NHL’s Dallas Stars, and Major League Baseball’s St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs.

Lochmann also said UM is considering implementing dynamic pricing for basketball games.

On Michigan’s athletic Web site, mgoblue.com, a ticket to the Ohio State game Nov. 30 began at $230 and topped out at $475. A single ticket to the Notre Dame game Sept. 7 began at $260 and went up to $550.

UM sold its remaining tickets for its opener against Central Michigan for $70 to $100, and individual tickets for four other home games cost between $65 and $260.

“We’re down to single tickets for Notre Dame and Ohio State, and the demand has been incredibly strong,” Lochmann said, noting that ticket sales also have been brisk for the Nov. 9 game against Nebraska and the Oct. 5 homecoming game against Minnesota.

On StubHub.com, which has an agreement with Michigan for ticket exchanges, a ticket for the Ohio State game began at $218 and went as high as $950; tickets for the ND game began at $329 and went as high as $2,000.

By comparison, single-game tickets for Ohio State home games went on sale July 26; through Ticketmaster, single-seat tickets for five of OSU’s seven home games are $86.25. (Tickets for home games against Wisconsin and Penn State are sold out.)

Ohio State is also moving in the same direction. In February, the school’s board of trustees voted to increase athletic ticket prices and to move to premium pricing for selected football games.

 

SEAT CUSHIONS: The UM athletic department posted on its Web site that it will not allow seat cushions to be brought into Michigan Stadium this fall.

IMG College Seating offers season-ticket holders leases for stadium seat cushions that are attached to seating locations for an entire season for $35 through today and $42 starting Friday through seatcushion.com. Seat-cushion leasing is not available on a single-game basis.

Contact Rachel Lenzi at: rlenzi@theblade.com, 419-724-6510, or on Twitter @RLenziBlade.



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