Athletic department announces new season ticket prices

The plan will also move the student section away from midfield.
Juniors Matthew Davis (left) and Ben Schlueter sit in the front row the student section before kickoff against UT-Martin on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018. The juniors and the rest of the MU student section will be moving from the 50-yard line for the 2019 season with the announcement of new season ticket pricing and seating charts.

MU students and fans will see a new seating structure and season ticket package for the 2019-20 revenue sports year, the athletic department announced in a press release Monday.

The restructuring coincides with the $98 million South End Zone project, which is set to finish prior to the start of the 2019 football season.

Student prices will be decreased from $260 to $150 for football and men’s basketball season tickets, with the same free admission to non-revenue sports with a student ID. In all, 85 percent of season ticket holders will see no change or a reduction in prices.

In the press release, the athletic department said that the change was a result of feedback from fans.

“We've been able to incorporate much of that data-driven research, as well as secondary ticket market analysis into the plan to create fan educated ticket pricing for the 2019 season," athletic director Jim Sterk said.

The restructuring benefits fans, but it comes with a catch for the Missouri student section.

The new seating structure will have general admission tickets available on the east 50-yard line, where the student section was situated last season. In 2018, the Missouri bench was moved to the west sideline as construction began on the south end zone, putting the opponent’s bench in front of the student section.

The Missouri sideline will stay on the west side of the stadium, which gives the Tigers a competitive advantage, according to Jay Luksis, the executive associate athletic director of marketing and revenue generation.

Keeping the bench on the west side means Missouri players are out of the sun during day games and visiting teams will have a harder time stealing signs.

Because the visitor’s bench will be on the east side, per SEC regulations, the student section is required to either be located from the 30-yard line to the end zone or at least 25 rows up the seating bowl between the 30-yard line and midfield.

Luksis says having the student section on the same side as the visiting team’s bench — albeit, not directly behind — also adds to the overall competitive advantage of the west sideline.

Along with being moved, the student section will be separated into two: sections 107 to 110 — in the northeast corner of the stadium — and sections 102 to 103 — in the southeast corner. The band will be moved to section 110, the section closest to the rock M hill.

While the ticket restructuring will make pricing more affordable for fans, the change isn’t as well received by students.

“Initially, I was very frustrated with the change,” sophomore Victoria Zeyen said.

Zeyen is a part of MU Tour Team, and uses Tiger’s Lair as a selling point of MU. “As a tour guide, [sitting at midfield] is something I love telling prospective students about my experiences. Now, I’m just saying Mizzou is like any other student section that has just okay seats. Before, we had the best seats in the house,” Zeyen said.

Zeyen has been involved with Tiger’s Lair — the official student section for Missouri football — since coming to MU. She believes that moving the student section takes away a tradition, but despite the change in location, Zeyen puts her fandom over frustration.

“The only thing I’ve known as a student is the 50-yard line, and that’s the hype of the game,” she said. “The fact that it’s moving is taking away from everything I look forward to on a Saturday. It’s still football, I’ll still watch a great game and support the Tigers, but it’s not going to be the same.”

Missouri will hold its annual spring game on April 13 and kick off its 2019 home campaign against West Virginia on Sept. 7.

Edited by Adam Cole | acole@themaneater.com

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