UF increasing football ticket prices next season

The $5 increase will generate more than $3.1 million in new revenue.


Published: Wednesday, December 15, 2010 at 5:07 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, December 15, 2010 at 11:28 p.m.

The University of Florida football team had a down season, but ticket prices are going up.

Facts

GATOR FOOTBALL TICKET PRICES GOING UP

The UF athletic association board approved a $5 per game increase in ticket prices next season, with tickets for the Florida-Georgia game rising $10 if Georgia approves of the change.
(Per game price next season/number of tickets/increase in revenue)
Season: $37/54,500/$1.9 million
Single game: $50/5,357/$187,500
Student: $15/18,500/$647,500
Georgia game regular: $50/33,614/$336,140
Georgia game club: $80/6,886/$68,860

Source: University Athletic Association

The University Athletic Association board on Wednesday approved a $5-per-game increase for home football tickets next season. Ticket prices for the Florida-Georgia game will rise $10, if Georgia approves.

“Ticket prices are how you make money to run your program,” UF athletic director Jeremy Foley said in explaining the increase.

The increases will generate more than $3.1 million in new revenue, which Foley said is needed to balance the budget with increased costs. He noted that ticket prices had stayed the same for at least five years and are among the lowest in the Southeastern Conference.

“You try to be fair and I think these are fair,” he said.

The board meeting came in the wake of Will Muschamp's hiring as head football coach, but Muschamp's contract — reported to be $2.7 million per year for five seasons — was not among the items considered. While the salary is lower than outgoing coach Urban Meyer's pay, Foley said it will take until Muschamp's staff is hired to see how the bottom line will be impacted.

Meyer stepped down earlier this month, but is still being paid a $1 million retention bonus that he was slated to receive if employed on Jan. 31. Foley said the bonus was always considered to be part of Meyer's overall $4 million salary, so he believed the money was due to Meyer.

“He's not leaving for another job ... That's the right thing to do,” Foley said.

Foley told the board that the association is looking into replacing its Cessna Citation airplane. The plane has a three- to four-year lifespan remaining and the timing might be right because of good pricing, he said.

He said the association is in discussions with the university, which has shared costs in the past.

“Obviously it's a difficult time to do that,” he said.

In other business, Senior Associate Athletics Director Chip Howard said permanent video towers are being built in the wake of a Notre Dame student's death. In October, a 20-year-old student was killed after heavy winds toppled the tower from which he was filming Notre Dame football practice.

Howard said the UF athletic association will be constructing six towers that resist winds up to 120 mph. Four towers are being constructed beside football fields and two in the softball and baseball outfields, he said, each of which will have a roof to address lightning from thunderstorms.

“They're very, very secure,” he said.

He also reported to the board that bronze statues of the Gators' Heisman Trophy winners will be installed outside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium before the April 9 Orange and Blue spring game. The board last year approved the statues of Steve Spurrier, Danny Wuerffel and Tim Tebow to be made at a cost about $550,000, which is being funded by private donations.

Howard said the three former players will be coming to UF for the installation, so the event needs to be coordinated with their schedules.

“We'd like to have it done for the spring game so that fans that come can take advantage of seeing it,” he said.

As for the ticket increase, Foley said Georgia's former athletic director had been opposed to an increase. With longtime UF athletic association administrator Greg McGarity being hired into the Georgia position in August, Foley said there is now agreement on the issue.

“We know this athletic director a little bit better, so hopefully we can get it done,” he said.

Contact Nathan Crabbe at 338-3176 or nathan.crabbe@gvillesun.com.

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