Pitt recently announced some changes to its football ticketing. First, prices have increased. Comparing the new prices, to the old ones, there’s a decent bump up.
For example, the priciest seats, the sideline club, were previously $887 and are now $899. That doesn’t sound like a terribly high increase but is also for one less game. Last year, fans in those seats paid about $127.00 per ticket. This year with one less game, they’ll pay about $150.00 per ticket. Add it up, and the damage there is somewhere around $140.00 total given there are only six home games this year. And from what I can tell from the map, it looks like a $25.00 donation is being added to a few thousand seats as well.
It’s worth pointing out that, on a national scale, Pitt’s football tickets are still pretty reasonable. Even with the new increases, they’re still very affordable compared to other schools.
But keep in mind that this isn’t a particularly interesting year for opponents at Heinz Field, either. There’s the Penn State game, which is the big one, of course. But you’ve also got a slate that includes Albany, Duke, Syracuse, Georgia Tech, and Virginia Tech. Raising prices for a pretty lackluster schedule and coming off of a 5-7 year would typically be sort of an eyebrow-raiser. But given that there will be such interest in the Penn State ticket, Pitt figures they can justify that increase and still sell a boatload of season tickets and partial season tickets because of it. My guess is they’re right.
A second change coming to Heinz Field this season is some new seating. Students will now occupy the entire lower end zone area of the closed end of Heinz Field (previously, they occupied half of that space) and that means some ticket holders will be displaced, which is never ideal because there are often fans that are long-time occupants of those seats. I can see how the change could provide for a good atmosphere. But, as I said in the comments section recently, I also wonder how it will look if the students decide to leave early and leave the entire end zone section mostly empty.
Overall, I don’t have a huge problem with the changes. Pitt is sort of in a tough spot with the price increase since they can capitalize on the Penn State game but also are offering fans a pretty weak schedule otherwise and the team is coming off of its first losing regular season in about a decade. But what I do wonder is if more people will start going the route of third-party vendors such as StubHub where tickets are routinely available for well under face value (aside from Penn State, of course).
What do you think of the changes? Big deal or non-factor?
What do you think of the new football ticket and seating changes?
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