The University of Utah athletic department on Tuesday morning announced the annual season-ticket renewal window for football.
That email to season-ticket holders came with a caveat. Prices for most seats inside 51,444-seat Rice-Eccles Stadium are going up, albeit modestly, for the first time since 2019.
Football tickets will see an average increase of roughly 11.29%. The average price increase per ticket, per game comes out to $14.56.
While most of the stadium will increase in price, 8.7% of the stadium’s seating is actually decreasing. Those decreases are mostly corner bleacher seats, deputy athletic director for external affairs Scott Kull told The Salt Lake Tribune.
On average, last year’s ticket prices ranged up to about 24% below the Pac-12 average. With this price increase, Utah will still land only in the middle of the conference in terms of ticket pricing.
Premium seating in the Ken Garff Red Zone, which opened last fall and drove the Rice-Eccles capacity to its current figure, will remain steady, Kull said.
Before pricing decisions were made, the athletic department contracted a pricing analytics firm for a full analysis of football ticketing.
“We’re always trying to provide the best student-athlete experience we can. We start there. How best can we do that?” Kull said. “As part of that process, we decided to do a deep dive on our seating bowl at football and really find out where we are relative to our Pac-12 peers. Engaging an outside partner to come in and help was the prudent thing to do.
“It wasn’t like a blind ‘OK, we have to generate revenue, let’s go find it.’ At the same time, we want to make sure we’re offering an affordable, fan-friendly option as well.”
In spite of the price increase, there is no reason to believe interest in Utah football will wane. The Utes, reigning Pac-12 champions and likely to open as the favorites to repeat this fall, have sold out 70 consecutive games at Rice-Eccles dating back to the 2010 opener vs. the University of Pittsburgh. Last season, all six home games were announced as capacity-plus crowds, capped by 52,724 on Nov. 20 to watch a Pac-12 South-clinching 38-7 win over then-No. 3 Oregon. For the season, Utah averaged 51,817 fans across the six home dates.
The season-ticket waiting list once hovered around 3,000, but Kull was unsure of exactly where it stood. The number is thought to have lessened as some of those 3,000 opted to purchase seats in the Ken Garff Red Zone last offseason.
Utah’s six-game 2022 home slate begins Sept. 10 vs. Southern Utah, and is highlighted by an Oct. 15 visit from USC. That latter game could carry major Pac-12 South title implications, if not major College Football Playoff implications for Utah if things break right in the weeks leading up to it.