Football ticket prices hit new highs

Clemson finale sets school record with $80 price tag

ashain@thestate.comJune 25, 2013 

South Carolina Gamecocks tight end Jerell Adams (89) celebrates after his touchdown catch in the first quarter of their game against Arkansas at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, SC.

GERRY MELENDEZ — gmelendez@thestate.com

— The Gamecocks have surpassed the school’s single-game football price record with tickets to the Clemson game on Nov. 30 going for $80.

That’s $20 more than the last Palmetto State rivalry game at Williams-Brice Stadium in 2011. The Clemson price of $80 tops the former USC single-game record of $70 for last season’s Georgia game.

Season-ticket prices, available to Gamecock Club members, rose this year for the first time since 2008 — increasing by $45 to $365.

As a result, single-game prices also have grown — rising on average $6.43 per home contest from 2012.

Ticket prices vary by opponent from $35 (Coastal Carolina) to $70 (Florida). Clemson tickets usually sell out between season-ticket sales and single-ticket purchases by Gamecock Club members, who get a first chance at available seats.

Single-game tickets go on sale to Gamecock Club members and university faculty and staff on Aug. 12 and the public on Aug. 19.

Sales of three-game mini-plans start July 22 to Gamecock Club members and USC faculty and staff and Aug. 5 to the public. The plans do not offer discounts on prices but give fans a first chance at tickets to those games.

The Garnet plan that includes tickets to Vanderbilt, Mississippi State and Florida costs $175. The Black plan that includes tickets to North Carolina, Kentucky and Coastal Carolina costs $145.

Single-game and three-game mini-plan tickets cost $5 more per contest for the school’s seven home games than if they were bought as part of season-ticket package.

USC is trying to raise more money to pay for new projects including a $14 million plaza around Williams-Brice Stadium. The higher season-tickets prices could add more than $2 million to USC’s athletics coffers, based on recent sales.

Gamecock football ticket prices ranked in the middle of the SEC last year, according to research from The Birmingham News.

The school does not know if ticket prices will rise in 2014.

“We can’t say for sure, but look at the track record,” said Charles Bloom, USC’s senior associate athletics director for external affairs, noting the five years with no price hike.

Meanwhile, USC has no plans to raise basketball and baseball prices in 2013-14, Bloom said.

The Gamecocks have won 31 football games the past three seasons and made a trip to the SEC Championship Game in 2010. USC is expected to have another strong season, led by consensus All-America defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.

“The product has not been better than at any other time in Carolina football history,” Bloom said.

But fans have not come back to Williams-Brice Stadium in the same numbers since the Gamecocks started charging an annual fee of up to $395 per seat to help pay for $200 million in athletics projects.

Season-ticket sales last year surpassed 49,000 for the first time since the Gamecocks started charging the seat fee in 2009. They sold 59,600 season-tickets in the final year before the fee. Williams-Brice seats 82,250.

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