Earlier this year, when football ticket renewals went out, I had to make a gamble. I ended up making it in favor of not renewing my football seats.
You see, the life of an unpaid blogger isn't as lucrative as you might imagine, and I could see over the horizon the strong possibility that my basketball tickets would be getting hit with a hefty price increase. I can't in good conscience give up my perch halfway up Section 9, so, rather than betting that basketball prices would stay flat for another year, I saved my money for basketball renewals. Sure, there were other influences on my decision, but that was essentially 75% of my thinking.
Today, I learned that my money was well saved. In recognition of CU now becoming known for basketball, a required donation to the Buff Club has been tacked on to all non-student price levels at the CEC. For many, that may mean as little as $50. For me, I'm now throwing down $150 on top of the regular ticket cost. While it's true that the printed price of my tickets is not going up, the actual hit to my wallet has gone up 60%.
A map detailing the 2013-14 pricing structure can be found here. Certain price levels have been requiring donations for a while now, but this season will mark a first for Colorado Basketball. This policy just brings the CEC closer in-line with the ticketing structure in Folsom.
You know what? I'm fine with it. Colorado Basketball has been grossly undervalued for years, and it makes sense for the athletic department to begin capitalizing on a program that has suddenly turned into a money maker. While the sticker-shock is a little high right now (60%, yo), I will make the argument that, between free parking, relatively cheap concessions, and a high quality product, attending a game at the CEC is still one of the best sporting values on the Front Range.