[caption id="attachment_332867" align="alignright" width="433"] Students storm the court at the BMO Harris Bradley Center after MU beat No. 1 Villanova in 2017. Credit Marquette University[/caption]
A portion of Marquette University men's basketball season ticket holders will see a price increase when they purchase tickets for the team's first season in the new Bucks arena.
Marquette season ticket prices for the arena's most premier seating-- courtside, premium and sideline seats-- will see an average increase of 17 percent compared to the price of the Bradley Center's top tier seats. However, season ticket prices for non-preferred seating, including the upper bowl seats, will not change.
Last week, Marquette athletics released the price information in an email to current season ticket holders. An attached document displays a color coded diagram of the arena's seating, and a corresponding price chart.
[caption id="attachment_350383" align="alignleft" width="664"] Seating at the new Bucks arena[/caption]
Overall, the prices for 42 percent of season tickets will increase, and prices for 40 percent of season tickets will remain unchanged, said Brian Morgan, assistant athletic director of ticket sales and strategy.
"The remaining 18 percent is what we call new inventory," Morgan said. "These are seats in the new arena that didn't exist in the Bradley Center."
Morgan said the sections designated as Premium Gold and Premium Blue, sideline seating closest to the courtside seats, have likely increased the most in comparison to that seating area at the Bradley Center.
The total price for preferred season tickets-- both at the Bradley Center and new arena-- includes a donation to the university or its athletic scholarship endowment, dubbed the Blue & Gold Fund. Higher valued seats require a greater donation.
For example, Bradley Center courtside seats for the 2017-18 season cost $8,850 total per ticket-- $1,050 with an additional $7,800 donation. This season, first row courtside seats are $1,400 with an additional $8,600 donation, totaling $10,000.
"At the end of day, we went for a model that we found is advantageous to fans and equitable for us from a marketable stand point," he said. "We want to provide the best experience for our student athletes and our basketball team and we have to fill seats to do that."
The email also included a timeline of the reseating process. Season ticket holders who want to renew their tickets this season are required to submit their reseating preferences by the end of June. Reseating will officially begin in mid-July.
Season ticket prices for students will also remain unchanged at $99, but with an increase in facility fees and taxes, students will ultimately pay $140 for the season. Students at the new arena will sit in the lower bowls of both ends of the court, rather than the upper and lower bowls of just the visitor side as they did at the Bradley Center. Both student sections will offer a total of 3,000 seats, while the Bradley Center's single student section offered 4,000 seats. Morgan said Marquette annually sells about 3,500 student season tickets.
Marquette athletics hired Legends Global Planning, a New York City-based brand consulting firm that made recommendations and guided the re-pricing process. The firm has worked with numerous professional sports teams and university athletic programs, including Villanova University on its current basketball arena renovation project.