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Putting the "Fun" in Dysfunctional

While money can't buy happiness,
it certainly lets you choose your own form of misery.

What happens when a terrible idea meshes with horrific timing?

The impetus for a lynch mob.

There's a reason that the subtitle to this notebook is "Chronicling the daily disaster that is Syracuse athletics."

As Post-Standard staff writer Donnie Webb notes in the above link, Syracuse has made the inexplicable decision to raise ticket prices for the 2006 Orange football season. Thus, in addition to voluntarily witnessing the trainwreck that will be the Orange Rush this year, Orange Nation will have the luxury of paying more to do so.

Hooray! Somebody call the Awesome Police because I've just been exposed to too much terrific!

The packages that were affected by the price increases look as follows:

Season tickets are $180. They were $168 in 2005.

Single-game tickets are $35; $40 for Iowa. Last season, they were $32.

Upper end zone seasons are $144, up from $135.

Youth seasons are $97, up from $80.
Syracuse Director of Athletics Daryl Gross had the following to say about the "modest" price increase:

"We put a lot of thought about it," Gross said. "We have to be sophisticated in our thinking. We can't wait for years to go by for us to get good to implement change as far as pricing. It's pretty modest. When you think about we froze season tickets last year and they've been the same for 04, 05 and 06, it's about an 8 percent increase over three years which is less than the cost of living or inflation.

"Some of that has to do with just surviving. Some of it has to be attributed to building the kind of program we want to build. We have to think that way. We have to build that way. We need to be competitive with the BCS schools."

"If you really analyze the pricing structure, you'll see what we've done, the concept here is to reward the season-ticket holder. Because we're really looking for the community, that fan that will be there whether you're playing Buffalo or Iowa."

To be honest, I actually would have preferred a throwback Jake Crouthamel explanation for the ticket price hike. Back in December of 2003, Crouthamel retorted with these comments after being questioned about how the public would react to the university's decision to retain former Orange head coach Paul Pasqualoni:

“ We’re the only horse in town,” he said. “ If people are into college sports and wish to support it, we’re the shot. We’re the only Division I-A football team around.”

While I may not have agreed with Crouthamel's decision, I could at least respect it as he did not try to sell me a product I may have been disinterested in. That take it or leave it attitude is devoid of spin and inherently respects its audience as it allows an individual to form his or her opinion as to how he or she will react to such developments. Dr. Gross, contrastingly, appears to be implying that such a price increase is actually reasonable to Syracuse fans.

That is simply ludicrous.

Obviously, running an athletic department is an expensive venture. To achieve competitiveness there must necessarily be a large armory of resources available to exploit. However, to start placing the onus of revenue raising on the average Orange fan this season is an almost incomprehensible notion, regardless of how slight the increase is. Syracuse football is in a position of transition, teetering between disaster and hopefulness. If this season fails from a win-loss standpoint, this new pricing scheme may just be the straw that breaks the camel's back for the borderline Orange supporter.

That is an incredibly dangerous proposition. Carrier Dome attendance has been plummeting since Donovan McNabb left The Hill seven years ago. There's no reason to not believe that attendance will continue to drop with the increased rates and another poor product trotted out onto the green and white grid.

4 Responses to “Putting the "Fun" in Dysfunctional”

  1. # Anonymous Dave Pearson

    Holy Shit! $40 to see SU take on Iowa!? I spent $55 to see the Giants play the Eagles in Philly two years ago.  

  2. # Anonymous Matt Glaude

    Plus, in Philly, you could bring some grinders into the stadium.

    No such luck at the Dome.  

  3. # Anonymous Dave Pearson

    Hoagie's, dude. I don't know what the hell a grinder is.  

  4. # Anonymous Matt Glaude

    Your Philly-ese is blowing my mind.  

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