Grid tickets jump to $45 each

The good news: University of Tennessee football fans who have season tickets won't have to pay more for them this year than last year.

The bad news: Everyone else will.

UT's Athletics Department has announced that season tickets will remain $266 ($38 per game) but that individual game tickets are jumping from $38 to $45 per game. The hike will not affect UT's games with Nevada-Las Vegas and Louisiana Tech but will affect SEC home games with Florida, Auburn, Alabama and Kentucky, plus the non-conference game with Notre Dame.

This move reportedly will generate an additional $300,000 to $350,000 in revenue.

In a statement released by the UT sports information department, athletics director Mike Hamilton said: ''Although the cost of tuition for student-athletes, health insurance and other operational costs have continued to rise for the athletic department, we have worked to make cuts in other areas to avoid raising season ticket prices for 2004.''

The ticket prices include a 9.25-percent state tax and a 5-percent city entertainment tax.

''By separating our pricing structure for season tickets and for games with teams who bring a large number of fans, this price increase will be paid primarily by our visitors,'' said Hamilton. ''After surveying the national scene and the cost our fans are paying when they go to other stadiums, we believed this was an appropriate increase. For instance, Miami charged $50 per ticket last year and Vanderbilt charged $55 in 2002.''

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