Our hypothesis for this ultra-scientific MZone study is as follows:
Even when paying over face value for the handful of big games in which supply and demand cause StubHub ticket prices to rise, it will still be cheaper - and probably substantially so - to buy one's tickets each week via StubHub
And just to recap the parameters of our study and what different seats in The Big House cost:
We're assuming two tickets to each game (together) and looking at different seat locations, all of which now require a "preferred seat donations" (aka PSDs). For those not familiar with PSDs, Michigan's website describes them as follows:
The Victors Club Preferred Seat Donation is a part of University of Michigan Athletics overall annual giving program. Currently, three sports have some portion of the season tickets requiring a Preferred Seat Donation -- Football, Men's Basketball Courtside Seats, and Ice Hockey Club Seats. (Note: Courtside and Hockey Club Seats are sold out. You may contact the Victors Club Office to learn more about future availability.)
The color-coded diagram indicates the football preferred seating areas of Michigan Stadium. There are four different annual donation requirements -- Victors ($500 per seat), Valiant ($375 per seat), Maize ($250 per seat) and Blue ($125 per seat). The End Zone donation requirement ($50 per seat) applies to any new season tickets holders in 2005 and beyond.
Cost to Purchase U-M Season Tickets in 2012
Michigan only has 6 homes games this season due to the opener in Dallas against Alabama. And of those six games, all of them have a face value of $75 each - except the MSU game which is $95 per ticket. Thus, one's "face value" ticket cost would be $470 per ticket. But...
The Athletic Department cuts one a break and charges only $390 for season tickets, which works out to $65 per ticket (it's impossible to know how/if they charge differently for the "big" games so we'll have to make it an even $65 each).
Now tack on your "donation" of $50-$500 per seat and your actual cost of one season ticket is $440 in the endzone, $515 in the "Blue" section, $640 in the "Maize" section, $765 in the "Valiant" section and $890 in the "Victors" section. Now double that for a pair of tickets.
This week's home game against 2-4 Illinois also happens to be homecoming. What will that to ticket prices on StubHub? Let's find out.
Season Ticket Price - Endzone Seats:
You, dear season ticket holder, have two seats in the endzone which cost $130 plus $100 for your PSD divided by 6 ($16.67) for a grand total of $146.67.
StubHub Price - Endzone Seats:
As of Tuesday night, StubHub had two seats in Section 10, Row 77 for $50 each, a total of $100. But while there is no PSD on StubHub, there is an electronic delivery charge of $4.95 and a service charge of $10.00. Yes, two tacky tacked on fees. Totally bullshit but, at a total of $11.95, still less than your more bullshitty $16.67 PSD.
Season Ticket Endzone Guy - $146.67
StubHub Dude - $114.95
Winner: StubHub Dude by $31.72.
Now suppose you have/want better seats. Okay...
Season Ticket Price - Maize Section:
Two tickets in sideline sections 3, 4, 20, 21, 42 or 44 cost you the same $130 as Endzone Guy. But you also had to shell out $500 divided by 6 ($83.33) for a grand total of $213.33 for your chance to watch this year's homecoming game.
StubHub Maize Price:
Found two for in Section 4 for $75 each. Same $4.95 "electronic delivery charge" (aka email) and a service fee of $15 for a total of $169.95.
Maize Section Total:
Season Ticket Maize Guy - $213.33
StubHub Dude - $169.95
Winner: StubHub Dude by $43.38
Now let's live large...
Season Ticket Price - Victors Section
Two tickets in Section 1, right on the 50, only cost you $65 each as part of your season tix. But $1,000 divided by 6 tacks on another $166.67 (yikes!).
StubHub Victors Price:
Found two tix in Section 1, Row 87 for $88 each (plus $4.95, plus $17.60).
Victors Section Total:
Season Ticket Victors Guy - $296.67
StubHub Dude - $198.55
Winner (by TKO): StubHub Dude by $98.12.
Endzone Seats on StubHub:
UMass - Saved $64.72
Illinois - Saved $31.72
Total Endzone StubHub Savings So Far - $96.44
Maize Seats on StubHub:
UMass - Saved $87.38
Illinois - Saved $43.38
Total Maize Section Savings So Far - $130.76
Victors Seats on StubHub:
UMass - Saved $165.24
Illinois - Saved $98.12
Total Victors Section Savings So Far - $263.36
NOTE: I didn't start this series until after the Air Force game and thus don't have exact figures, but a cursory check before the game as I was thinking about a post topic like this revealed something between the UMass and Illinois numbers. We'll factor those in at the end of the season.
The only "hot" ticket on the U-M home schedule this year is the Michigan State game on October 20th (sorry, Northwestern). When I did the UMass post for this series, I could get two in the endzone for $220 each, or in Section 1 for $450 each. Today, on Tuesday night as I finish this post, here is the MSU ticket sitch on StubHub:
Endzone - $147 each
Section 1 - $285 each