Florida’s season ticket prices will jump to $380 per seat in 2017, the school announced Wednesday, an average of just over $54 per game over the Gators’ unique seven-game home schedule.
This is the second consecutive year that Florida has raised season ticket prices, after doing so from $300 to $330 for the 2016 season in late 2015, though the school notes in its announcement of prices that the cost per seat ranks just seventh in the SEC. The cost per seat in 2016 was just over $47 per game, and was highlighted by Florida’s home date with LSU in October that never transpired because of Hurricane Matthew, and also included a November home game against Presbyterian. Fans could be refunded for the cancellation of those games, or apply what they paid for those tickets to 2017 season tickets.
But $47 per game for a slate headlined by LSU and essentially no one else — no other team that Florida played at home in 2016 finished the regular season with more than seven wins — certainly isn’t as good a deal as paying $54 per game for a home slate featuring LSU and Tennessee, Texas A&M, and Florida State, except in terms of raw outlay. The deal brokered to move Florida’s game with LSU to Baton Rouge in 2016 essentially flipped that home game from the 2016 schedule to the 2017 slate, and added it to what was already one of Florida’s most challenging home schedules ever, and a historic slate.
The Gators’ 2017 schedule features two SEC West teams coming to Gainesville for the first time since the conference’s expansion to 14 teams, a neutral-site opener (against Michigan at Cowboys Stadium) for the first time since 1984, and LSU and Florida State each visiting The Swamp in the same year for the first time since 1963 — when Steve Spurrier played for Florida’s now-defunct freshman team.
Of course, those season ticket prices do not include mandatory contributions to the University Athletic Association, which begin at $50 per season ticket for recent graduates and $150 for fans without that status and range all the way up to $2,550 per seat in Florida’s Champions Club. Adding those figures in, the cheapest season ticket available to the general public in 2017 is $530, or just under $76 per game, and the most expensive costs almost $419 per game.
That cost per seat in the Champions Club for a single game is almost three times the cost of a season ticket for students, who will pay $140 for a seven-game slate for the second straight year. And given that any of those four big-ticket home games might fetch $50 or more in resale value — not that Florida students ever sell their season tickets to friends or to non-students, or anything — it seems possible that savvy enrolled Gators who can afford the $140 investment on season tickets might be able to make a profit on that investment, even if other students will undoubtedly grouse about once more ponying up $20 per game for tickets that cost at least twice as much for the general public.