- Michael Rothstein, ESPN Detroit Lions reporter
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- If you're trying to buy tickets to a Michigan football game this fall, it could be worth buying now because of the Wolverines' move to a dynamic ticketing model this season.
Single-game ticket prices will vary based on current market values for the ticket. For example, the price for Michigan games against Central Michigan and Akron might not move much off the season-ticket price of $65. But for a premium opponent such as Notre Dame, Nebraska or Ohio State, the school could end up charging at least double the initial ticket price, depending on when a person buys the ticket and how much supply is left based on the demand.
While Michigan won't be the first school to move toward a dynamic ticketing model, it might be the most high profile. Cal started using QCue -- the same company Michigan hired -- last season. So has Georgetown basketball. South Florida and Washington have used another dynamic ticketing company, Digonex, to experiment in college sports.
This has become a popular model in professional sports and the music concert and airline industries.
The new ticketing policy will apply only to single-game tickets for Michigan, not season tickets or specialty packs. Michigan set its expected end zone initial dynamic prices to range anywhere from $65 (Akron) to $195 (Notre Dame) per seat. Michigan-Ohio State is estimated at $175 per seat at this point. Michigan single-game tickets go on sale July 30 to donors and Aug. 1 to the general public.
"Dynamic pricing is a practice that has been widely used throughout the travel industry and is quickly becoming the standard across sports and entertainment organizations," Michigan chief marketing officer Hunter Lochmann said in a statement. "Pricing dynamically will allow us to adjust single-game ticket prices upward or downward based on real-time market conditions with the biggest factor being fan demand and ticket scarcity.
"We've seen strong demand for tickets and encourage fans to buy early to access the best deals."
Lochmann has familiarity with this type of ticket pricing. Before he worked for Michigan, he was the vice president of marketing for the New York Knicks.
If you’re trying to buy tickets to a Michigan football game this fall, it could be worth buying now -- or waiting -- because of the Wolverines' move to a dynamic ticketing model this season.