After a memorable season that saw Utah win its first Pac-12 championship and make its first appearance in the Rose Bowl, season ticket prices for the 2022 campaign are increasing.
While the average season ticket prices will increase by 11.29%, those prices still rank in the middle of the rest of the Pac-12.
This marks the first price increase for season tickets since 2019.
The majority of seat ticket price increases will be $10 to 12 per game and about 9 % of seats will actually see a decrease in cost, Scott Kull, deputy athletic director for external affairs, told the Deseret News.
The changes in season ticket prices were sent to season ticket holders in an e-mail earlier this week.
“For the 2022 season, ticket prices will increase for most sections of Rice-Eccles Stadium, as they have roughly every two years. We continue to seek the most appropriate pricing structure that is both mindful of our loyal ticket holders and aligns with our priority to continue the upward trajectory of Utah Athletics in the Pac-12 Conference and in the nation,” the e-mail reads.
“We do so by utilizing your financial commitment to strategically invest in the student-athlete experience that allows them to thrive academically and athletically. That includes retaining and recruiting the very best coaches and staff who are elite in their field and who care deeply about their students.”
An outside analytics firm was hired by the university to assess season ticket pricing, Kull said.
“We want to provide the best student-athlete experience that we can. We thought it would be a good time to engage an outside company to do a deep dive on all of our ticket pricing,” he said.
“What we found was that on average, our 2021 ticket prices were 21% below the average season ticket price of our Pac-12 peers. Even with these increases for 2022, our prices will still rank in the middle of the Pac-12.”
Premium seating prices for the new Ken Garff Red Zone will remain the same as last year.
“We still want to make sure we’re providing an affordable option for families,” Kull said. “We have 14 different pricing options, which is up from 11 in 2021.”
In 2021, Rice-Eccles Stadium was expanded, increasing the seating capacity from 45,807 to 51,444. The school sold 35,202 season tickets last year, according to Kull.
The 2022 home schedule features games against Southern Utah (Sept. 10), San Diego State (Sept. 17), Oregon State (Oct. 1), USC (Oct. 15), Arizona (Nov. 5) and Stanford (Nov. 12).
Utah boasts 70 consecutive sellouts at Rice-Eccles Stadium. The Utes averaged nearly 52,000 fans per game last season, according to official attendance numbers.
Considering that quarterback Cam Rising and many other key players are returning to a program that is expected to be the favorite to win the Pac-12 again, there’s a lot of excitement among Utes fans for the upcoming season.
“With the year that we had and the players coming back, people are really fired up. The atmosphere was better last year simply because we closed in that south end. It was a lot louder. I noticed it,” Kull said. “Adding the premium seating and building an even bigger sense of community with our fan base, people want to be around people.
“We’re competing against the couch. What are we doing that’s experiential that they can’t get at home? That was a great addition. We need to get better with the fan experience. If our fans are having a good time and engaged, we have a better chance of giving our team a chance to win football games. That’s really our goal.”
Last fall, after the tragic deaths of Ty Jordan and Aaron Lowe, the school put together a tribute, a “moment of loudness,” in their honor, held at the conclusion of the third quarter at Rice-Eccles.
“You can’t get that watching the game at home,” Kull said. “It influenced how we played. It was a magical year. Doing things like that, engaging the fans, influences our team. There’s just something about being in the stadium when it’s loud. It’s not the same feeling.
“I don’t know that you get goosebumps at home when Britain Covey returns a punt against Oregon like you would in a stadium like that, because of the noise, and everybody high-fiving and jumping around.”