Ohio State: Best football seats to cost $2,787 for the 2022 season

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Ohio State coach Ryan Day happy to have big group of Buckeyes back who could have gone pro

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Upper level end zone seats won’t require donations on top of ticket prices

Ohio State University trustees on Thursday approved a new football ticketing system that will allocate the best seats in the stadium to those who donate the most.

The university’s new plan makes no changes for 2021 but switches to a “per-seat contribution” pricing model beginning with the 2022 season. Most season ticketholders will be required to make contributions on top of paying for tickets.

“There is going to be some people who are upset,” said Gene Smith, OSU athletics director since 2005. “Then you’re going to have that constituency who will pay less. There will be people who pay less (for their season tickets.)”

Ohio Stadium will be divided into six zones. In zone 6, 14,000 season tickets will be available for purchase at face value with no required additional donation. Zone 6 seats are in the upper levels of the end zone. Seats in zone 1 are on the 50 yard line and will require a $1,500 per-seat contribution on top of the $1,287 cost for tickets to the eight home games. Contribution requirements and ticket prices range for the other zones but it boils down to the better the seat, the higher the donation and ticket prices.

Season ticket holders will also be required to make contributions of $3,000 to $6,000, plus pay $400 to $480 for parking passes. The seat contribution will off-set the required donation for parking spots.

Student seats will not be subject to the new system and tickets will remain priced at $34 per game. Likewise, suite seats will not fall under the new system.

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Ohio State has more than 1,000 athletes participating in 36 varsity sports. It is one of about two dozen college athletics programs nationwide that are self-sustaining and do not rely on student fees or university subsidies. OSU Athletics typically transfers $52 million a year to the university’s general fund.

Smith, however, projects a $60 million deficit for the athletics department this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Smith anticipates that the department will borrow from the university and pay back the interest-bearing loan over five to seven years to erase the deficit.

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The per-seat contribution model is used by Power 5 peer schools across the nation.

“The department believes it can lower the total price of entry for many fans while also generating additional donations to fund student-athlete scholarships in all 36 sports,” Ohio State said in a written statement.

Currently, OSU’s Buckeye Club receives nearly $14 million a year in donations. Ohio State hopes to grow that to $25 million over an unspecified number of years, starting with a $5 million bump once the new football ticketing system is implemented.

“There is no question this that this is a revenue opportunity. We need to grow our annual giving program,” Smith said.

By the Numbers: Ohio State University Football

102,780 seats

50,000 season ticket holders

28,000 student tickets

8 home games in 2022

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