When University of Toledo football season ticket holders get their invoices in the mail in the next two weeks, they better be ready to ante up.
A season ticket will cost $136 this fall -- $36 more than last season.
Toledo has included the Mid-American Conference championship game as part of its seven-game home package, although the Rockets can't be assured at this time that they will play in the game or host it.
MAC officials still haven't determined where the title game will be played in 2001 - at the site of the West Division champion, which may or may not be Toledo, or at Fawcett Stadium in Canton, home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
A spokesman for Western Michigan, which beat Toledo to capture the West Division crown last season, said his school would not include the MAC championship game as part of its season ticket package. Western and Toledo will be the preseason favorites in the West.
The WMU spokesman said if and when the Broncos win the West, they would give their season-ticket holders ample time to purchase their regular-season seat locations if the title game were played in Kalamazoo, Mich.
Toledo athletic director Pete Liske is in Florida on business and was unavailable for comment yesterday.
Game tickets, which go on sale today at the UT ticket office, will cost $16 each, an increase of $1 from last year, for home contests against Youngstown State, Northern Illinois, Western Michigan and Eastern Michigan.
Three home games are considered premium tickets - Navy ($21), the MAC championship game ($25) and Minnesota ($26).
If first-year coach Tom Amstutz's Rockets don't win the MAC West title, or if the MAC title game isn't played in Toledo, UT season ticket holders will have three options - they can donate their $25 ticket price fee to the university, apply it toward next season or get a refund, according to a ticket-office spokesperson.
The $26 charge for the game against Big Ten member Minnesota is the highest single-game ticket price UT has ever charged, the spokesperson said, but it also is one of the best non-conference opponents the Rockets have ever played at the Glass Bowl.
The game will air nationally on ESPN2 on Friday, Aug. 31, but the projected 5:30 p.m. starting time will make it a tough sell, especially since it will be the opening night of the high school football season.
The Tuesday, Nov. 6, game against Western Michigan at the Glass Bowl also will be a major challenge for the UT ticket office. The game will be on ESPN, and has an 8 p.m. starting time.
In addition to national exposure, the conference receives money from ESPN that is divided among member schools.
Toledo sold nearly 9,000 season tickets a year ago at a cost of $100 for six home games. Tickets were priced at $15 each, with the exception of two premium games, Bowling Green and Marshall, that cost $20 apiece.
Toledo will pay Minnesota $150,000 to come to the Glass Bowl. The Rockets will get $150,000 for playing at Minnesota next year, and another $250,000 for playing there in 2003 as part of a two-for-one deal.
Toledo will pay Navy $175,000 to play at the Glass Bowl this year after getting the same amount for playing in Annapolis, Md., last season. Youngstown State will receive $80,000 for playing here this year, while Southern Illinois will get $100,000 in 2002 and Liberty $100,000 in 2003.