Comparing costs: U. of Utah earns $14 million from football ticketing, keeps focus on fans
“Every year we look at every ticket price for every sport and evaluate what we should do. What are our financial needs this year? What was attendance like?” he said.
A vocal minority of Ute fans want to see the school expand the stadium to create a bigger game-day atmosphere and drive bigger ticket sales. But stadium expansion is extremely expensive, and Utah has plenty of areas it’s already improving as a Pac-12 school.
“Our story is basically trying to pay for the Pac-12. That’s expensive. We need tickets, donations, the whole thing. Obviously [stadium expansion] is something that’s difficult to do. It’s very difficult to add more seats. Right now we’re focusing on the football building and basketball facility.”
The other sports
It’s no secret Utah Runnin’ Utes basketball isn’t the premier basketball program it once was. But it’s headed in the right direction, and season ticket sales are an indicator of that trend.
From 2010 to 2011, the school saw a double-digit percentage dip in basketball season ticket sales, but early season ticket sales for the 2013-14 season are already strong. Utah’s lower-bowl basketball ticket prices were even lowered in the last two years to attract more interest from fans.
Last year, men’s basketball tickets brought in just fewer than $1.4 million, which has become the new benchmark moving forward. The school is confident that when the October deadline rolls around, sales will be up.
“There was definitely excitement following the end of the regular season and the Pac-12 tournament,” Woodbury said of basketball season ticket sales. “Utah has savvy basketball fans and they want to see a good product out there on the court.”
Woodbury also noted that Utah generates around a half-million dollars in ticket sales for gymnastics. Additionally, the school brings in just under $1 million per year in concessions.
What it all adds up to is an athletic department that has done a great job creating high demand for its best product while working to bring the rest of its sports to par with the rest of the Pac-12, both in performance and in revenue generation.
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