At the end of June I called the 12th Man Foundation to get away game tickets and I was mildly surprised to find out that I could still get Auburn tickets (which I did) but that the SMU game was the first one that we had sold out of our ticket allotment.
I was also a little surprised when I found out last year that SMU
didn't want to sell the home game site rights to Jerry Jones to be
played at Cowboy Stadium or to the Cotton Bowl, where they could fit
twice as many fans in the seats and charge significantly more for
tickets. They wanted to have a big name opponent come play on campus to
show their alumni base that they're serious about football.
As a result, I knew that the game would sell out because Ford Stadium only holds 32,000 but I was probably more surprised that it was the first away game to sell out - I mean, we're playing at Auburn, at Ole Miss, and at 'Bama. Then again, it makes sense because very few Ags can make more than one big away game but I bet most can make one big away game and squeeze in a game in Dallas.
So, now I am on a quest to find tickets to the game for me and my brother, Sean. I made a call to SMU's athletic department to inquire about season ticket prices. My ticket rep, Gregory, shared that they had two mini-season ticket packages - one for $50 that included the TCU game and one for $90 that included the A&M game. I then asked what a full season ticket cost. $99.
Wait, for $9 more I could get ALL the games? Yep. I told him thank you and that I would call him back once I ran it all by Sean. Sean is a smart kid and obviously he agreed the full season ticket route was the way to go.
I called Gregory back the next day and was informed that they were no longer selling season tickets to A&M fans but I could buy the mini-pack for $90. I said, "Well that means I can't recoup my money back by selling the TCU ticket. What if I hang up and call back and when I do, I'm no longer an A&M fan?" He informed that that wouldn't work. Stupid caller ID.
His explanation was that they wanted SMU fans to have access to tickets for games and they were getting inundated by A&M fans ordering tickets. They want fans in seats for all the other games.
This, in my opinion, is a simple problem of supply and demand. First of all, the fact that SMU season tickets cost as much as the just A&M home opener is a sign that SMU fans aren't really knocking down the door to get tickets to see their Mustangs play. The SMU fans don't care as much as the A&M fans do. If they did, not only would there be no season tickets left for me to buy but the price would be significantly higher.
Also, if you were only concerned with getting SMU fans into the game then you wouldn't be offering a mini-ticket package to Ags. Really, you just want to be able to control the market share of tickets for the TCU game, who is your biggest rival. If Ags buy up all the season tickets, and therefore all the TCU tickets, it is the Ags who will turn around and sell the TCU ticket and make the money.
The first solution would be to raise the season ticket price to create a larger gap between the mini-pack and the season ticket price. Another solution would be to give the 12th Man Foundation a significantly larger number of tickets to distribute. Ags would rather pay a little bit of a premium and be able to sit with other Ags. That way you don't also lose out on your TCU tickets.
The problem there is that you lose all the guaranteed ticket sales for the other games in the mini-pack/season ticket. You can sell 20-25,000 tickets for every game of the season and it just be mostly empty or you can sellout one game, probably sell out a second game, and then hope that Southern Miss, Memphis, and Tulsa have a lot of kids with huge families from Texas on their rosters and want to come see them play.
It's a noble effort you're trying to make but your fan base doesn't care enough to come through and reward you for it. Shoot, I'm willing to bet that a big portion of your actual SMU season ticket holders are going to try to sell their A&M ticket to pay for the rest of their season.
I read an article online yesterday that said, "season ticket sales at their highest level in a quarter century". As a new SMU season ticket holder, I say "You're welcome."
BTW, if anyone is looking for a great deal on two tickets for 5 of SMU's 6 home games, I know a guy.