The U’s way to make money

So the U just sent out gymnastics tickets renewals.

They’re making everyone below row 20 donate from $25 to $75 per ticket to the Dumke Center to renew their seats.

They’re also not considering any precious donations made.

Again it just seems to be another way Harlan and the U are trying to alienate anyone who doesn’t have money to burn.

Is it per ticket or per seat?

Per seat.

But when you compare the cost of the ticket to the donation you’re almost doubling the cost to attend for the season.

I had a call last week from a young )obviously paid) fundraiser. He was trying to sell me access to a special indoor section beneath the south end zone seats. He had a very slick animated presentation that he went over with me via Zoom.

Those who buy in to this special section have access to pregame food, video screens, private restrooms, and a warm dry place to hang out at any time during a game. They will be able to watch the team walk through their dining area on their way out run onto the field. I think the privileges also include a pregame field pass to watch the team warm-up. The cost is $1500 per person, on top of whatever buyers have already paid for their seats.

I declined. I have already forked over quite enough money for my seats. It is interesting to see how hard they are working at finding ways to collect additional revenue. It looks like the new south end zone seats are not selling very well, because they were trying to sell me some of those too.

A packed stadium makes for great TV backdrops during the game.

As we all learned last fall, empty stadiums suck the energy out of things, and make a lousy TV backdrop. When you think about it, pre pandemic the only time you see Cal and Stanford play on a prime time national feed is when they are on the road or playing the Big Game. Zona…when playing the Territorial Cup at home against ASU. OSU when playing the Civil War. WSU when playing the Apple Cup.

When you think about it, only Utah, Oregon, UW, and ASU regularly sell out to SRO. USC and UCLA get a hall pas due to playing in monstrous stadiums. Everyone else needs TV distractions.

Of course playing PAC-12 Sunday in the middle of the night on the east coast doesn’t help.

I get the desire for more revenue, and there is a desire to chase the bigger money folks in the athletics arms race. The forever concern, though, has to be damaging the game/event experience by economically crowding people out. It will affect recruiting, revenues, and in the ends require the school subsidy to go up affecting other programs outside athletics.

The young folks never experienced Old Rice as an echo chamber of like 5 fans and a drunk student section. The only time we sold out was for a TDS game, and even then there were time we didn’t even do it then - and those tickets were giveaway priced back then. Basketball was a SRO event, and the Red Rocks were just starting to fill the Hunty for their competitions. Baseball played on a scrubs diamond behind the Medical School, and the track team used East High for a training facility. Let’s just hope some come to realize a part of why we have these upgrades is not because we charged more and more. It’s because we got the butts in the seats and sold the whole experience.


Demand for gymnastics tickets has been increasing greatly over the past number of years pre pandemic so it stands to reason that as the demand for a finite number of tickets goes up the price goes up.

As for SEZ premium tickets and other offerings I think those will sellout eventually also. I know that there is some reticence to lay out the money right now given that there is still some uncertainty around how the pandemic will play out this fall. I know that even our company is waiting to shell out for our normal suite for the Jazz, and boxes at Usana and Red Butte. They don’t want that cash tied up outside the company and have to deal with the accounting for expenditures not used or in limbo. Better to just wait for the time being until the picture is a little more clear. Once things are more settled long term I think we will be back to having a wait list for season seat and premium SEZ services. There is a lot of pent up cash in the local market looking for a place to be spent and I think the U will pick up a bunch of it.

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Which if if we’re a price increase due to demand that would be fine

But it’s not, it’s a surcharge to renovate the practice facility.

And the U doesn’t care if you’ve already donated, they don’t count that and require another donation to keep your tickets.

It’s not fan friendly. It’s all about money.


Of course it’s related to demand! They know that those tickets below row 20 are highly sought after and they also need funds to help pay for the expanded Dumke Center. If they didn’t think they could get additional money for those seats they wouldn’t have added those fees. Utah Gymnastics seats have been a huge bargain for a long time I know, but now it’s time to cash in on the high demand. If you don’t want to pay the extra fee then move your seats to a less desirable area. Others are lined up to take those seats.

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