LSU delays until December vote on ticket price hike

A decision on whether to raise LSU ticket prices won’t happen this week, but it will probably happen soon.

The LSU System Board of Supervisors will likely take up the matter in December, LSU President F. King Alexander said, adding that the delay has nothing to do with fans’ lingering anger over the Ole Miss loss.

The board was scheduled to vote Friday on a proposal to raise prices on football and baseball tickets and parking, but the item was removed from the agenda.

Alexander said Wednesday he pulled the proposal from Friday’s agenda because “There’s a lot of confusion over a very complicated pricing structure.”

Tickets for LSU sports fall under about 150 pricing structures, each dependent on different variables such as location, time of purchase, the opponent and the number of tickets bought.

For example, Alexander said, baseball has nine pricing zones, and basketball tickets have 23 different prices.

Even parking zones for motor homes have three different prices.

Each pricing change in each of the structures must be approved by the LSU board.

“Everyone wanted some more time to think about it and study it,” Athletic Director Joe Alleva said. “I’m good with it. I think the more the board understands what we’re trying to do is better. It’s not a bad thing.”

Instead of voting on the matter Friday, the board will hear from Alleva, who will make a presentation about why the recommendation for the price increases is being made.

“The most important thing is, (board members) need to understand why we need to go up. Our expenses have gone up tremendously the last four years,” Alleva said, referring to the last time LSU raised ticket prices.

Alleva said the market is different than it was five years ago. The board’s next meeting is Dec. 13. Alleva said that’s the deadline for getting price increases.

“We have to mail out Tradition Fund prices to people (for 2014),” Alleva said. “As long as we get it done in December, we’ll be fine.”

A separate but related issue is getting a change in procedure to allow the LSU president to approve ticket price increases without having to go to the board.

Alexander said only LSU, Auburn and South Carolina require board approval of pricing changes. Other schools change ticket prices after consultation between the university administration and its athletic department, he said.

The basketball team is considering lowering the prices of tickets to help build up its fan base, Alexander said. “And going lower requires board approval.”

Scott Rabalais and Mark Ballard contributed to this report.