Ticket prices for good seats at Razorback football games at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium are going up next year. The relatively lousy ones are going down. Meanwhile, all ticket prices for the Hogs’ one game at War Memorial Stadium are going down, but that’s because the team is playing lousy Alcorn State, who plays in the Football College Subdivision, the minor leagues of college football.
Here’s the breakdown:
Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium
Stadium (100 level): $360 (2015 – $300)
Stadium (500 level): $250 (2015 – $300)
Pig Heaven: $300 (2015 – $300)
Red Zone: $420 (2015 – $360)
South Outdoor Club: $850 (2015 – $600)
South Indoor Club: $800 (2015 – $600)
East Outdoor Club: $750 (2015 – $750)
East Indoor Club: $1,100/$1,000 (2015 – $900)
West and East Suites: $2,400 (2015 – $2,100)
South Suites: $2,100 (2015 – $1,800)
War Memorial Stadium
Sideline Seats: $45 (2015 – $55)
End Zone Seats: $35 (2015 – $55)*
Of course, those aren’t the actual prices, as season ticket holders have to additionally pay significant “priority fees” to the Razorback Foundation.
This announcement is a reflection of the reality of college football: There’s a correlation between the cost of big ass HD TVs and nosebleed football tickets. As the former goes down, the latter becomes harder to sell. Anyone who attended or watched games this year could see that many of them were spottily attended. Official attendance figures are highly misleading as they include everyone in the stadium — people working, the teams, the bands, et al. Meanwhile, there’s apparently an unmet demand for really good seats and suites.
Last week, the University of Arkansas System Board of Trustees gave the university the go ahead to get detailed designs and cost projections for a major renovation project that would, among other things, add a bunch of those fancy seats. The initial cost projection to enclose the north end zone, redo the Broyles Athletic Center, add a new video board and add some 3,200 seats add was $161 million. By comparison, the 2001 stadium expansion that added 21,000 seats cost $110 million. Compared to the new proposal, that’s about $5,200 per seat, versus close to $50,000 per seat, though as mentioned, there’s some other stuff in the new proposal and we’re talking about fancier seats — 2,297 club seats, 384 suite seats and 368 box seats. Still.
If the trustees ultimately approve the renovation project, bonds would be issued. Payment for the bonds would come out of ticket revenue.
The question is, as former U.S. Sen. and current UA Trustee David Pryor asked last week, will the UA be able to service that kind of debt? Pryor said, and I haven’t heard anyone correct him, that it would be the largest bond issue for any public education project in Arkansas history. Will more and more people opt to stay at home in front of their massive TVs rather than paying to see the Hogs live? Will more people cut the cord and chip away at massive SEC Network money the Razorbacks are currently getting?
Here’s the letter from Jeff Long explaining the changes:
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – For the first time since 2010, bench seat season tickets in the lower deck (100 level) at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium will see a price increase while bench seats in the upper deck (500 level) and at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock will see a decrease as part of the 2016 University of Arkansas football season ticket prices released on Tuesday.
The per game price for standard bench seating at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium has remained flat for the past six seasons while many of the club areas in the stadium have not seen a ticket increase since opening in 2001. Ticket prices in the 500 level of Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium and all general seating at War Memorial Stadium will see a price reduction in 2016. Student ticket prices for both stadiums will not be increased and remain low among institutions that do not charge a mandatory student athletics fee.
University of Arkansas Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long outlined the changes and provided further context on the price adjustments in a letter to all Razorback Football season ticket holders. The letter will be distributed to Razorback Foundation members on Wednesday.
“As part of the growing costs associated with meeting our commitment to our more than 460 student-athletes and competing in the Southeastern Conference, we have initiated price adjustments for many of the season tickets within Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium,” Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long said. “It is imperative we continue to enhance our facilities and address the increasing expenses related to the maintenance and upkeep of facilities, rising scholarship costs in conjunction with providing cost of attendance and escalating expenses of feeding and fueling our student-athletes. The price increases are primarily in the lower levels, clubs and suites, while, for the first time in decades, prices for some seating in the upper deck and at War Memorial Stadium will be reduced.
“Our new ticket pricing structure did not simply increase across all of our seats. We carefully evaluated the demand and history of those sections before considering any potential price alterations. In the end, we have established a pricing model which will help further our investment in student-athletes while still maintaining our standard ticket prices below the Southeastern Conference average and lower than other peer programs throughout our region. We are grateful for the passionate and loyal support of Razorback fans and for their continued investment in the lives of Razorback student-athletes.”
In continued efforts to enhance the game day experience for all fans, Razorback Athletics is working diligently to make several significant enhancements, including the installation of a video board in the south end zone of Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium during the 2016 season.
Arkansas will host the best home football schedule in its history in 2016, including home games against four teams who were ranked among the nation’s top 10 last season, Alabama, Ole Miss, Florida and LSU. For more information on tickets, visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com or contact the Razorback Ticket Center at 1-800-982-4647
*The UA initially sent out incorrect information. It’s now been corrected.