No hike in UT grid tickets

Fans concerned about the big bucks Tennessee is spending on football assistants can relax a bit: The cash isn't coming out of your pockets ... yet.

The UT Athletics Department announced today that per-game football ticket prices will remain the same for the 2009 season, despite a $6 million buyout owed to former Vol head man Phillip Fulmer and rising costs in several areas.

Season tickets in the so-called "standard seats" next fall will be $360, compared to $315 last fall, but that's simply because the Vols play eight home games in '09, compared to seven in '08.

"Although tuition for student-athletes, health insurance and other operational costs have continued to rise for the athletics department, we have worked to make cuts in other areas to avoid raising season ticket prices for 2009," athletics director Mike Hamilton said in a statement released via email by the university. "We've also made an effort to lower the price of some of our games to give more UT fans an opportunity to experience Tennessee football."

The per-game ticket breakdown for 2009 is as follows: $50 for UCLA, Auburn, Georgia and South Carolina; $40 for Western Kentucky, Ohio, Memphis and Vanderbilt. As always, season tickets in the chairback-seat sections are $3 more per game than in the standard-seat sections.

According to the release, 14.25 percent of the $360 season ticket price, roughly $45, is sales tax.

Fans who buy their tickets by game rather than by season will be shelling out $70 to see home contests against Auburn (Oct. 3) and Georgia (Oct. 10). Tickets to see UCLA (Sept. 12) and South Carolina (Oct. 31) will go for $60 apiece. The cost to watch Western Kentucky (Sept. 5), Ohio (Sept. 26), Memphis (Nov. 7) and Vanderbilt (Nov. 21) will be $40 per ticket.

According to the UT release, fans interested in purchasing season tickets may enhance their chances of doing so by joining the Volunteer Athletics and Scholarship Fund (VASF) with a minimum donation of $100 by March 1. They may contact the VASF at (865) 974-1218.

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