The Finance Committee of the Athletic Board introduced a possible increase to prices of both student and non-student tickets at a meeting Tuesday. The increases proposed would affect men’s football, men’s basketball and men’s hockey ticket prices, for both season and single-game ticket purchasers.
Students will see the smallest increase if the Athletic Board approves the proposition. Student season tickets for football would see a jump of $2 a game, increasing the current $14 face value of the ticket to $16. The board also proposed increasing the men’s basketball and hockey season tickets for students by $1, bringing the price up from $7 to $8 dollars a game.
If students who are not season-ticket holders still want to see a men’s basketball or hockey game, the increase per game will be $2, raising the price to $9 an event.
The increases for non-students are more varied as proposed, starting with football, the sport that could be the first one affected by the increases. Season-ticket holders would have to pay $5 more each game, bringing the total to $33 a game, and a non-season-ticket holder would pay $40 for a conference game and $33 for a non-conference game.
If passed, basketball and hockey prices would go up $2 a game for season-ticket holders. Men’s hockey individual tickets would jump from $16 to $20, and single basketball tickets would cost $24, up from $22 this season.
Steve Malchow, associate director of the UW athletic department, said the added revenue will go to general operations of the $59 million athletic-department budget, though he believes the athletic department will keep the option of using the extra revenue for the Camp Randall renovations open. Malchow realizes Badger fans might be upset by the increases but stressed this is just a preliminary proposal, which could come up at the Athletic Board meeting in late February.
“The key thing is this is not approved,” Malchow said. “This is just an introduction.”
Malchow said there would be a minimal raise in student-ticket prices. He said UW aims for the lowest ticket prices in the Big Ten for football and in the bottom half for conference basketball games.
The UW Athletic Department also planned on cutting 19 courtesy cars as a cost-reducing measure. The UW Athletic Department would limit the use of the courtesy cars to coaches, no longer letting administrative staff drive them, according to a press release.
Steve Peters, a UW junior, currently holds football and basketball student season tickets and would not agree with the increases if they were enacted.
“I wouldn’t be in favor of an increase,” Peters said, adding he did not believe the athletic department should place the financial burden on students or Badger fans. He still recognized the $1 to $2 increases for season tickets is reasonable.
Malchow agreed with Peters, saying the athletic department should treat its customers well, but argued students and fans will pay the increase if approved, and such funds will go to a good cause.
Peters said if the ticket prices increase, he would most likely end up buying the tickets.
“I’ll probably grumble about it for a few days and then go buy them,” he said.