Football ticket prices increase

Mike Podesta and Mike Podesta

Following a successful 2002 campaign, the Bowling Green athletic department announced that football ticket prices will increase from $1 to $3 for the 2003 season.

Chairback seats, which were $l5, are now $16. General admission and reserved seating will increase to $11 and $13. Group tickets, for people buying 20-99 tickets, will see a $2 increase to $8 a ticket.

According to Bowling Green Director of Ticket Operations Scot Bressler, even with the price increase, Bowling Green will still have one of the lowest ticket prices in the Mid-American Conference.

“We always try to keep the prices reasonable,” Bressler said. “Even with the $1 to $3 ticket increase we’re still right about in the middle of the pack compared to other MAC schools and other teams that we play.”

Bowling Green is the only MAC school increasing ticket prices. The University of Toledo, also returning from a winning season and an appearance in the Motor City Bowl, was rumored to be increasing their prices for the 2003 season, but did not. University of Toledo Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations Paul Helgrin said ticket prices would stay the same but could change in the future if there is a “critical need to increase revenue in order to fund the increasing cost to operate our 19 varsity sports.”

Grant Cummings, a 1993 alumnus of Bowling Green State University, has been going to games for over 20 years. “With the success of the team, I think the athletic department sees an opportunity to ask for more money,” Cummings said. “The tickets have always been a good value, but as they continue to rise, the whole package needs to improve to validate the higher prices. The team has been on a roll. It’s time that the program as a whole reflects that.”

Assistant Athletic Director for Financial Affairs David Sayler said staying competitive isn’t the only reason for the increase. He said many factors contributed to the decision.

Bowling Green’s $6 million athletic budget is relatively small compared to other Division I football schools. It makes it harder to stay on the same level as larger schools, like Ohio State, whose athletic budget is nearly $55 million. Twenty-one million of that goes directly toward the football team. Bowling Green’s small budget makes it harder to stay on the same level as larger schools like Ohio State.

Increasing Bowling Green’s ticket prices is one way for the athletic department to generate revenues.

“The money goes to our athletic department, which means the money from ticket sales is budgeted each year and helps us meet our overall athletic budget,” Sayler said. “We increase the prices to stay competitive, but also to help offset the increasing costs that we face every year in scholarship, printing and travel costs.”

Bowling Green season ticket holder Bill Hoffert, believes that if the program produces a winning team, ticket prices won’t matter.

“Athletic teams’ ticket sales are affected by win/loss performance,” Hoffert said. “Winning teams come from well-organized athletic departments and coaches. It’s not enough to be competitive. BG has to have teams that are vying for championships in order to fill the stands. If the program keeps winning, the price increase will help offset the costs and more money will be going to the athletic department.”