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Friday, November 09, 2012

Stub Hub vs Season Tickets: Northwestern

Today we continue our home-game feature StubHub vs. Season Tickets, in which we compare the cost of getting seats to each and every Michigan game in The Big House on StubHub vs buying season tickets, "seat donations" and all. 

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

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.

Northwestern

Just a note that the ticket prices for this article were gathered on StubHub late Thursday night (technically Friday morning) before the game..

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 late Thursday night (technically Friday morning), there are just over 1,200 seats left for sale on StubHub.  We found two in Endzone Section 8, Row 96 for $45/each.  Now take on $4.95 for the StubHub "electronic delivery charge" (read: a fancy way to charge you for an email) and $9 for StubHub's service fee. 

Endzone Total:

Season Ticket Endzone Guy - $146.67
StubHub Dude - $103.95

Winner: Mr. StubHub - $42.72

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 Michigan take on the Wildcats.

StubHub Price - Maize Section:

Found two in Section 3 for $71 each.  Same $4.95 "electronic delivery charge" and a service fee of $14.20 for a total of $161.15.

Maize Section Total:

Season Ticket Maize Guy - $213.33
StubHub Dude - $161.15

Winner: Guy Giving Dave Brandon The Finger by$52.18

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 Price - Victors Section Price:

I found two tix in Section 2, Row 81 for $79 each (plus $4.95, plus a service charge of 15.80).

Victors Section Total:

Season Ticket Victors Guy - $296.67
StubHub Dude - $178.75

Winner: NOT Season Ticket Guy by $117.92

Season Totals*

Endzone Seats on StubHub:

UMass - Saved $64.72
Illinois - Saved $31.72
MSU - In the red $155.28
Northwestern - Saved $42.72

Total Endzone StubHub Savings/Loss So Far - Loss of $16.12 *

Maize Seats on StubHub:

UMass - Saved $87.38
Illinois - Saved $43.38
MSU -  In the red $176.62
Northwestern - Saved $52.18

Total Maize Section Savings/Loss So Far - Savings of $6.32 *

Victors Seats on StubHub:

UMass - Saved $165.24
Illinois - Saved $98.12
MSU - In the red $161.48
Northwestern - $117.92

Total Victors Section Savings/Loss So Far - Savings of $219.80 *

Very interesting that - so far this season (with only one marquee home game) - the better seats you want to sit in, the more you save going the StubHub route.

* We 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 we were 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.

6 comments:

surrounded in columbus said...

This is really a good series. It’ll be interesting to see how the comparisons bear out next year when we have several good home games.

I went through a similar (though less empirical) evaluation about 15 years ago when I stopped getting season tickets. Living in Ohio, I seldom wanted to go to all of the home games. My original thinking was that I’d keep the tickets for the 2 or 3 games I wanted to go see, and then sell the other 3 or 4. Problem was I could almost never find buyers at full price for anything but the “top” games (which were the ones I wanted to attend). In fact, for many of the “UMass” type games, I ended up just giving them away. In the end, I was paying full price for 7 or 8 games to avoid paying scalper prices for 1 or 2. I concluded that if went ahead & paid scalper rates for the games I attended, I was money ahead of paying full price for the whole season.

Over the last 10 years (roughly), I’ve calculated that each year I average less the face value for the games I attend. In the years in which I have to pay a steep up charge for ND or tsio, it’s close but when you average it out with the discount to games like EMU or SDSU? It brings down the average to below face. Years like this? It’s generally not even close.

It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out for someone who goes to the entire home schedule.

Good stuff.

Yost said...

SiC,

You bring up a great point which I haven't even touched upon yet: If you don't go to EVERY home game, then it's pretty clear that StubHub is the way to go.

phil said...

Surrounded - for a couple of years, I too lost money trying to sell tickets to games 'not in demand.' Then I did what you did and gave them away. I came upon a great idea that has really helped. I have found several charities that love the tickets and I can write off the cost on my taxes. I win and some needy kids win. It was a perfect solution. And at the look of the political scene, you'll need all the tax deductions you can get.

phil said...

MICHIGAN WINS IN OVERTIME!!! For awhile there I thought I was going to need a full frontal nudity healing picture. I mean, if you really want to, go ahead, but basically I'm good.

Every1nosme said...

Almost turned it off after nw got a first downwith about 2 min left. Glad I didn't and let's all give thanks to the great hands of the nw defender who made the roundtree catch possible! If he doesn't get a hand on that ball it would have went over everyones heads and pretty much ended the game.

mya said...

Depends on how much you want to pay! If you want to see how prices are predicted to rise or fall use Ticketwood.com