LSU raising ticket prices

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Mike the Tiger and fans celebrate during the Florida game Saturday. Show caption
Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Mike the Tiger and fans celebrate during the Florida game Saturday.

Increases proposed for football and baseball

LSU is planning to raise football ticket prices for next season and baseball prices for 2015.

The announcement came in the form of a news release Thursday in which athletic director Joe Alleva cited a need for the university “to stay competitive at the highest level of collegiate athletics, but also because of the rising costs of doing business on a daily basis.”

The timing wasn’t the best considering there were 15,000 no-shows for the Tigers’ game against Florida last Saturday in Tiger Stadium, leading Alleva to post a letter to fans on the athletic department website Tuesday.

In the letter, Alleva detailed steps the university is taking to address traffic and parking difficulties as well as long lines entering the stadium.

“There’s no good time to raise ticket prices,” Alleva said Thursday. “This has been planned for over a year. We need to do it. We can’t put it off any longer.”

The plan, which also includes greater flexibility in pricing, will be presented to the LSU Board of Supervisors for approval at its meeting Oct. 25.

Alleva said “significant” increases in tuition for student-athletes, staff salary and fringe benefits and travel costs since the previous football ticket increase in 2010 made the request necessary.

The proposal calls for increases to the Tradition Fund, a surcharge on prime season tickets, for more than 50,000 2014 football ticket packages and for tickets and parking for the 2015 baseball season.

This would be the first price increase for baseball since 2009.

Tradition Fund donations for this season ranged from $210 to $950.

The proposal also calls for a 6 percent increase in season-ticket prices from the previous season as well as an increase to the Tradition Fund for reserved parking on campus for cars and RVs.

The proposed parking plan will see 49 percent of the parking prices remain at their current level. The largest increase will be $100. LSU hasn’t proposed an increase in reserved parking on campus for football since 2007.

The plan also will see the pricing structure for Tiger Stadium adjusted to allow for more flexibility in future pricing based on seat location and demand as well as the opponent and date of the game.

“Our ticket-pricing is very rigid,” Alleva said. “We’re requesting that we be able to differentiate for individual games.”

The existing pricing structure allows for LSU to charge different prices for premium games, Southeastern Conference games and nonconference games.

The prices of season-ticket packages would be unaffected by the new flexibility, but the individual games could be adjusted.

For example, if the cost of a ticket to a relatively unattractive nonconference game is lowered from $40 to $20 and a ticket to the most attractive game is raised from $70 to $90, the season package would be unaffected.

That would enable the university to lower prices on the less attractive games to try to boost individual sales and to increase prices on the games with higher demand.

The proposal also would allow LSU to adjust prices for particular dates that are less attractive, such as the day after Thanksgiving game and other day games scheduled in advance.

In baseball, the proposal calls for 2,500 seats (29 percent) to either have donation levels reduced or include no donation at all.