Michigan State to raise ticket prices in '09

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Michigan State announced Sunday that it would be raising football ticket prices for the first time since 2005.

In response to increased athletic budget demands during rough economic times, the school raised all 2009 season tickets except those for students and young alumni by $3. Season tickets will be priced at $308 for the general public (from $41 to $44 per game), $252 for faculty/staff (from $33 to $36 per game) and Family Plan season tickets are listed at $231 (from $30 to $33 per game).

Single-game tickets increased from $46 to $49, and tickets for the Oct. 3 home game against Michigan remain $70.

Ticket prices for all other Spartans sports will remain the same.

Michigan State was one of only three BCS programs -- Connecticut and Colorado were the others -- not to raise ticket prices from 2005-08.

"We are very sensitive to the environment that we live in today, making this a difficult but necessary decision," Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis said in a statement. "While football ticket prices have remained the same since 2005, our operational costs have risen significantly, including scholarships [tuition, room and board], utilities, facility maintenance and transportation.

"The MSU athletics department isn't insulated from the current economic conditions that have impacted many residents in our state, and as a result, we have and will continue to conduct careful examinations of both revenue streams and expenditures. This price increase could generate in the neighborhood of $600,000 in additional ticket revenue, but that doesn't come anywhere near covering the increased operational costs. We have asked every unit within the athletics department to reduce expenditures by 10 percent. This follows a department-imposed freeze on all non-sports operating budgets for the 2008-09 fiscal year. Spartan football season tickets continue to be one of the great values in the Big Ten Conference, with public season tickets priced in the mid-range of the conference."

Before the increase, Michigan State ranked sixth in the Big Ten in season-ticket prices. The Spartans recently moved a game against Western Michigan from Ford Field in Detroit to East Lansing to add another revenue-generating home contest.