Students paying same as public for championship game tickets

Wednesday, November 19, 2008 | 8:37 p.m. CST; updated 9:10 p.m. CST, Wednesday, November 19, 2008

COLUMBIA — The cost of one season ticket for a Missouri student this year was $220, which allowed admission for six Tigers football games and access to men's basketball tickets.

But to see Missouri play for the Big 12 Championship on Dec. 6 in Kansas City, students will have to pay $75 a seat. The face value of the cheapest ticket for the game is $55. According to Big 12 spokesman Bob Burda, the ticket prices are set by the conference, with respect to the venue.

The difference in price is because of the location of the seats at Arrowhead Stadium. Each school participating in the game is given 8,500 of the stadium’s 77,038 seats, and Burda said that unless the schools request differently, their seats are all located in the stadium’s lower bowl. The $55 seats are located in the upper levels of the stadium.

Burda added that each school is given one sideline and one end zone for its fans’ seats. At face value, those tickets are priced at the same $75 that Missouri is charging to purchase them through the university.

“I think that’s just the price of the tickets,” Missouri assistant athletic director Chad Moller said. “That’s the way it was last year when we played.”

It’s also the way it is across the Big 12 Conference. In 2003, when Kansas State played in the Big 12 Championship, Wildcat fans and students were charged $70 to purchase tickets through Kansas State, according to Kansas State spokesman Kenny Lannou. Like at Missouri, only Kansas State students who had purchased football season tickets were eligible to buy Big 12 Championship tickets.

Oklahoma senior associate athletics director Kenny Mossman said that his school also charged its students the same price as its fans when it played Missouri in last year’s Big 12 Championship. Mossman said that the reason is because schools are charged for their allotment of tickets at the same price the general public pays.

“For those tickets, that charge is not discounted,” Mossman said. “So we’re essentially the middle person in that, and we just redistribute the tickets at no financial gain to us. We just charge the same rate that we’re charged to get them.”

Only 1,000 of Missouri’s 8,500 tickets will be sold to students. The rest will be sold at the same $75 price to Tiger Scholarship Fund donors at or above the Champion Level.

But the situation could have been worse for Missouri students. Two years ago, when Nebraska reached the Big 12 Championship, none of the Cornhuskers' 8,500 tickets were reserved for Nebraska students. According to Nebraska spokesman Keith Mann, the university treats the Big 12 Championship like a road game. That means that Nebraska students would only have had the chance to purchase tickets through the university if donors did not buy all 8,500 tickets, which Mann said they did.

"We only offer discounts for students to our home games," Mann said. "There would not have been a student allotment for the Big 12 game. Any students who would have went would have purchased out of the public allotment."

For students who are unable to buy one of the 1,000 reserved seats, tickets available to the general public are their route to Kansas City. Tickets still remain through Ticketmaster and secondary markets such as StubHub. Tickets remain available to the public at the $55, $65 and $75 levels.

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