LSU OKs ticket price hike

“There is substantial potential revenue coming from the SEC Network ... The reality is that if we go up on prices today, we’re not likely to go down tomorrow. We need to think about the loyal and working fans that have been with us through the good and the bad.” Scott Angelle, board member

Thousands of LSU football and baseball fans will have to dig deeper into their pockets to attend games next year and beyond. The LSU Board of Supervisors approved a policy Friday that will raise both parking and ticket prices for sports fans.

Only two board members voted against adjusting the rates.

The new policy means that tickets for 63,000 seats inside Tiger Stadium and 2,400 parking spaces outside the venue will be more expensive when LSU’s football team takes the field next fall.

It also means baseball fans will see the cost of prime bleacher seats go up by $25 while green and gold grandstand seating will increase by $100 starting during the 2015 baseball season.

LSU, meanwhile, will keep pricing the same on 8,000 seats inside the football stadium and reduce the price of 5,000 seats for season-ticket holders, from $400 to $360.

LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva has argued price adjustments need to be made if LSU is to keep up in the athletic “arms race” with other Southeastern Conference schools.

Without the adjustments, the Athletic Department could wind up with a $2 million deficit next year as scholarship and “fringe benefit” costs go up, Alleva said.

But Alleva’s presentation came under fire.

The athletic director said LSU’s agreement to joint the SEC Network cost the university $2 million, but he can’t predict how much LSU stands to make when the cable channel starts airing games next year.

The network “has to be sold to providers. It hasn’t been sold yet so we have no idea,” Alleva said. “I pray to God we make a lot of money and the university gets half. ... We won’t know how much we are going to generate until September.”

Alleva said nobody really knows how much SEC schools stand to make when the channel starts airing games.

Board member Scott Angelle was skeptical. He, along with student board member John Woodard voted against changing the policy. Board member Stephen Perry, who poked holes in the policy last month, was absent.

Angelle, on Friday, took up Perry’s argument from November questioning why Alleva was asking to raise prices before it’s determined how much revenue the SEC Network will generate for LSU.

“The university lost about $2 million in revenue in hopes to recover some, and yet we have no idea what the number will be?” Angelle asked.

Alleva responded by saying he wasn’t concerned. “I anticipate getting significantly more than that back,” he said.

After the meeting, Angelle explained his “no” vote.

“I think the testimony was clear today,” Angelle said. “There is substantial potential revenue coming from the SEC Network, if you look at the research and some of the other deals like the University of Texas has. The reality is that if we go up on prices today, we’re not likely to go down tomorrow. We need to think about the loyal and working fans that have been with us through the good and the bad.”

Woodard said he couldn’t vote for the policy change until he saw some more concrete numbers.

“I think our athletic director laid it out pretty clear; our athletic department has to make up some ground, but until we see some numbers, I’m not ready to pull the trigger.”

Other changes included in the new policy are an increase on most season tickets from $400 to $425 and price hikes of between $20 and $90 for Tradition Fund donations — the fee charged for some of Tiger Stadium’s most desirable seats.

Student ticket prices will not change.

The football parking plan means 49 percent, or 2,300, of the parking prices will remain at their current level, while 2,400 spots will cost more. The largest increase will be $100.

Of the 4,100 paid parking spots reserved for baseball games, 1,600 spots will be more expensive in 2015. Increases for baseball Tradition Fund parking spots will see a price hike of up to $100.

Tradition Fund pricing for basketball tickets will either go down or stay the same.