Preferred Seating Coming to Michigan Stadium

<p>Athletic Director <strong>Bill Martin</strong> indicated a few years ago that this day was coming and now it&#8217;s finally here. Along with an increase in ticket prices, a personal seat licensing system will be in place in a few years at Michigan Stadium.</p>

The University of Michigan Athletic Department announced a few significant changes in their football season ticket pricing today. Stating in the 2004 season, public season ticket prices in the prime areas the stadium (Maize, Blue and Victors areas…see seating chart link below) will see a 3$ increase, while student tickets will increase 1$. The more notable change is the implementation of a Preferred Seating Program that will begin to take effect in the 2005 campaign. A total of 30% of the stadium's seats and 45% of season ticket holders will be affected by the change. Obtaining (and retaining) seats in the specified locations will depend on the ticket holder’s charitable donations to the department. The minimum contribution will range between $125-$500 per ticket. The mandatory gift qualifies as a donation to a public university in the state of Michigan and will be 80% deductible. Current season ticket holders that don’t want to donate can opt to have their tickets moved to an area of the stadium that is unaffected.

The donation levels of the stadium patrons will be part of the criteria of a new Priority Points Program that will be introduced along with the seating plan. Under the new system, season ticket holders will be able to accrue points that will allow them the opportunity to improve their seats, obtain better tickets to away games, obtain game day parking passes, and get preference in the allocation of bowl tickets. Besides the level of charity to the athletic department, other criteria in the Priority Points Program will be whether the person is a UM graduate or letter winner, the number of years the person has purchased season tickets, and whether the person is a charter member of the Victors Club.

University of Michigan athletic director Bill Martin indicated that this was a necessary change in the current economic atmosphere of collegiate sports. “Requiring an annual seat donation for select season ticket locations is common among our peer institutions," Martin said. “Michigan is the only school of the top 20 attendance leaders in college football that has not implemented a preferred seating program.”

*For the official release from the Athletic department, which includes more info on the changes, click here.

*For more details on the Preferred Seating Program click here.

*To view the seating chart that details the effected areas, click here.

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