USF brought a few of us hacks in this week to discuss changes to how single game tickets will be handled for the FSU game on September 24th, as well as things like Flex Plans and other issues around seating.
Credit to them for the outreach, but I think the plan they've created here isn't really objectionable. If you're buying season tickets, USF is protecting your investment in the program and the folks that pay the day-to-day freight. Here's the major points:
* When buying season tickets, there's a 20% discount for alumni, faculty, and staff on the ticket price. The discount doesn't apply to the Bulls Club donation for seating in good sections. We're going to list both prices, but the overwhelming majority of you will be paying the second one.
* There's seven home games this year, which means a slight increase over last year. Also you're getting a game in FSU where StubHub prices will be as high as USF has seen since 2007 most likely.
* Season tickets start at $150 ($120) for the pie wedge in Sections 217-220. If you've ever sat there, you know this is a fine seat because USF plays in possibly the nicest college football facility in America.
* The rest of the tickets run from $175-755 ($145-$684) per seat, and club access starts at $470 ($406) per seat. All season tickets are in the lower bowl. Here's the lower bowl chart:
Remember the West/Home side costs more, but generally has much more shade for noon-afternoon kickoffs.
* Season tickets will be on sale at the Spring Game tomorrow, and over the phone as well as online beginning Monday for new ticket holders.
* Season ticket holders will get the chance to buy additional tickets in the lower bowl for the FSU game in order of gift level. Those donating $10k+ will get first crack on May 9th, those between $1k & 10K on May 16th, and less than $1k on May 23rd. All additional FSU tickets added will be priced at $85 each.
* Single game and group tickets for FSU to the general public will go on sale on May 30th. Those seats will only be available in Sections 333-338, and 307-319, and are $85 each. If they sell a bunch early, USF reserves the right to raise the price.
* There will be 11,555 student tickets available for the FSU game, and that can be expanded based on demand.
* Flex Plans are available in certain sections, and any three games during the 2016 season can be selected (including FSU). Tickets run from $150-295, but there is no 20% discount available.
The tl;dr here is if you're buying season tickets, USF is protecting you and the value of your investment in the football program. No one is coming in at the last minute and buying up all the seats for FSU and jacking them up on StubHub & SeatGeek. The students will have their seats protected as well, and since they're providing 34% of the current athletic budget through the athletics tuition fee, that's as it should be.
USF Athletics has some financial challenges currently, and this game is a chance to create a large stream of revenue that is very much needed. But so is protecting the loyalty of those who buy season tickets. At least to us, this seems like the right balance between both sides.
We think USF got this one right. What say you?