Saturday, May 13, 2006

PSD a/k/a the bane of my existence

It was just recently announced that Preferred Seating Donations (PSD) raised $9.5 million dollars for U-M for the 2006 season. Michigan Ticket Manager Marty Bodnar was quoted as saying in the May 5, 2006, Ann Arbor News that, "I'm very comfortable that the program has been very well accepted." The article can be found here

Now I understand that the ship has already sailed on this issue and that most people have moved on to whether we should join the other Big 10 schools in the 21st century and add luxury boxes (excuse me, Bill Martin, Enclosed Seating Areas) to the stadium. However, I am not quite ready to move on. I am still stuck on complaining about these stupid PSD's which were phased in fully for the first time this year.

The PSD program covers 33,000 of the 107,501 seats at the stadium with "donations" ranging from $125 to $500 PER SEAT depending on the seat location. By the way, don't insult me by terming this a "donation" when in fact you are coercing this from me. "Donation" connotes voluntariness and this is anything but voluntary. Either you satisfy this mandatory requirement or you get banished to the endzone or out of the stadium altogether. The program should be referred to as PSS: Preferred Seating Surcharge. That would be a much more accurate description of what was occuring.

I found it interesting that the cancellation rate for season ticket holders was 4% this year and last year respectively as compared to the 2%-2.5% annual cancellation rate during the years prior to the implementation of the PSD program. It should also be noted that an additional 300 season-ticket holders downgraded themselves to the endzone this year to avoid paying the PSD surcharge.

With PSD's providing an additional revenue stream of almost $10 million annually, I would hope that (at a minimum) that U-M can hold the line on ticket prices in future seasons.

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