Season ticket prices to Texas football game are raising an average of six percent to a get-in price of $199. That's nothing new. Teams across all sports raise ticket prices every year, even mediocre ones.
But there is something new to the process of buying Texas season tickets, and it's something a lot of schools are surely dealing with across the country. While Joe Fan must pay a hefty donation fee on top of his season tickets, a sect of Texas season-ticket holders - longtime buyers, faculty and staff members, former letter winners - are eligible to purchase season tickets with little or no annual donation - and then resell them for profit. And athletics director Steve Patterson wants it to stop.
“There’s a value that rightfully belongs to the university and the athletic department,” Patterson told the Austin American-Statesman. “If the only reason you are purchasing that seat is so you can arbitrage that seat, we think you shouldn’t be able to do that.”
According to a study done by Turnkey Intelligence, nearly 40 percent of UT tickets end up on the secondary market, primarily StubHub. This, Patterson says, allows opposing fans access to premium seats and prevents newer season ticket buyers, who pay a much higher donation rate, from moving up the totem poll.
The Statesman reported that returning discounted season-ticket holders if they'd like to continue to donate at their grandfathered level and use their tickets, or pay the present-day donation level and reserve the right to resell their tickets.
Texas says it will work with StubHub to monitor the secondary market. Those judged to be in violation will receive a warning at first, and continued offenders risk losing their tickets and seat assignments.
“If you’ve been in those seats forever and you and your grandkids are going to come and cheer for the Longhorns, then great. We love that,” Patterson said. “But if your objective is to just acquire that market value and trade on it so that somebody from a visiting school can sit there … then we don’t think that’s appropriate.”