How much is a replay screen really worth?
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Nebraska announced that it will be raising ticket prices $2 per game for the 2009 season. Part of the reason will be to help to pay for two new video replay boards on the northwest and northeast sides of Memorial Stadium.
The Cornhuskers' administration in bucking a national trend where many colleges are choosing to hold the line on ticket prices because of the declining economy. Ticket prices for season-ticket holders will rise to $54 per game, up from $52 per game last season.
Nebraska athletic director Tom Osborne told the Lincoln Journal-Star that the new video boards are a result of wishes of Nebraska fans over the past several years.
"We've had complaints from the people seated in the North End Zone that in order to really see the replay board they have to turn around," Osborne said. "There's a board in the south end, but it's far enough away that it's hard for them to see."
The new boards will provide Nebraska fans with five video boards inside the stadium. All of them will be upgraded to high-definition video quality in time for the Cornhuskers' Sept. 5 opener against Florida Atlantic.
"There shouldn't be anyone in the stadium who doesn't have a good view of the replays," Osborne said.
Nebraska was one of the first schools to take care of its own video production needs with the creation of HuskerVision. Cost of upgrades in HuskerVision throughout the stadium will cost about $3 million.
Some of those costs will be absorbed in the university's contract with its sports marketing partner IMG. (Where have we heard that name recently? Oh yeah.)
"We felt if we raised the season-ticket prices about $2 per game, it would also generate about $1.5 million and between (that and the IMG funding), it would pretty much pay for the improvements," Osborne said. "But we also think the fans will benefit from a better venue."
Raising ticket prices in today's economy is tricky. But I would imagine Nebraska fans would be willing to dig a little deeper in their pockets, after the late success from last season and excitement about Bo Pelini's team approaching for 2009.
If anything would appear to be recession-proof, it would appear to be Nebraska football. The Cornhuskers enter the upcoming season with a string of 299 consecutive sellouts.