University of Minnesota cutting prices for men's basketball and hockey

Cuts could be offset by increasing "seat donations" required for season tickets

April 18, 2019 - 2:17 pm

The University of Minnesota Athletic Department announced today new season ticket pricing for men's basketball and men's hockey. Starting with the 2019-20 seasons, season tickets for basketball will start at $340 and hockey will start at $500. Basketball season ticket prices are the lowest they have been since the 1995-96 season, while hockey prices are the lowest they have been since the 1999-00 season. Fans can view seating maps for the 2019-20 seasons here.

"I think it's important to listen, collect information and then make the best decisions for our programs," said Athletics Director Mark Coyle. "That's what our staff did. They took feedback, studied the data and were able to find solutions. Our goal is to make Gopher athletics accessible to as many fans as possible, and I believe we have done that. We live in a vibrant community and state where entertainment options are endless. We have to be extremely competitive and creative with the options we offer, while still making sure that we provide every opportunity for our student athletes. We will continue to explore additional options for all our sports in the future."

Minnesota has also reduced six additional sections at Williams Arena that directly overlook the court for the upcoming season. It was also announced that there would be no increases for any basketball season tickets for the general public. 

Season tickets for five of the 24 sections at 3M Arena at Mariucci will now start at $500, which is $100 less than the $600 price for the 2018-19 season and $200 less than the $700 price for the 2017-18 season. Minnesota traditionally plays 20 home games a year, which means that the average ticket price for season ticket holders in these sections would be $25. Minnesota will play Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota Duluth, Niagara, North Dakota, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin at home next season. The Gophers will also welcome in-state rivals St. Cloud State, Minnesota State and Bemidji State for the Mariucci Classic and will play two of those three schools. 

Minnesota also reduced four additional sections at 3M Arena at Mariucci from $800 to $700 and like basketball, there will not be any increases in hockey season tickets for the general public. 

According to the website Gopherhole.com though, not all is it seems on the surface. In a tweet, Gopherhole.com claims that the seat licenses required to purchase the season tickets are significantly increasing. In a series of tweets, they make the case that the price cuts are a wash with the license increase, stating, "Really disappointing that the U conveniently glossed over the massive per seat donation requirement which makes the price 'decrease' basically a wash."

Here is the 2018-19 3M Arena season ticket pricing chart:

Photo Courtesy Gophersports.com

Here is the 2019-20 3M Arena season ticket pricing chart:

Photo Courtesy Gophersports.com

In all but one level, the total price including the "per seat contribution" works out to the exact same total. 

According to Gopherhole, the University is trying to increase new ticket sales with the cuts and increase fans in otherwise lower attended sections.

The men's hockey team's averaged announced attendance was close to 3M Arena at Mariucci's 10,000 capacity for year, before dropping to 8,726 and 7,944 the past two seasons.

The men's basketball team has a 14,625 seating capacity at Williams Arena, but the Gophers averaged 10,774 for home games this season, down from 11,850 one year earlier.

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