High ticket prices keepins some fans away

Tuesday, November 21st 2006, 2:23 pm
By: News On 6

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) The high price of tickets to Saturday's Bedlam matchup between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State is keeping many fans away from the game at Boone Pickens Stadium.

OSU still had more than 1,000 tickets available on the stadium's north side ranging from $250 to $1,000. The Cowboys have not had a sellout crowd for any of their five previous home dates.

Meanwhile, OSU athletic director Mike Holder said he doesn't care if OU fans refuse to pay the high price for OSU tickets.

"Good, stay home. Don't come," Holder said. "I don't care if any of them show up. Just bring that football team out here."

But Oklahoma fans aren't the only ones balking at the increased ticket prices.

Oklahoma State University graduate Bill Bearden has been a regular at Bedlam football games since the mid-1970s, but will not attend Saturday's game. After having held four season tickets during most of the last 25 seasons, Bearden said he did not purchase 2006 tickets because of OSU's price increase.

"I decided it was time for me to stop going to the football and basketball games," said Bearden, 52, the owner of a convenience store in Morris. "The pricing is definitely too much for a lot of people."

OSU's basic season tickets increased from the 2005 price of $231 to $295 this year. Club-level tickets rose from $231 to $395. Attached to the purchase of a club seat is a required donation of $1,500 to the Posse Club.

The season-ticket sales at OSU crested at 33,000 this year, down from last year's figure of 37,500. The current attendance average if 40,581, down from last year's figure of 44,860.

"We've all noticed the (empty) seats this year," Cowboy offensive tackle Corey Hilliard said. "It's kind of disheartening, but at the same time, all you can do is just go out there and play. I wish there were a way for our fans to be there without the high prices."

Holder said he believes he may have underpriced the tickets.

"We're still seventh in the league in pricing, relative to our competitors," he said. "And we're in a stadium that in some cases seats half as many people.

"If we want to play with the elite football programs in the Big 12 Conference, then we need to price our product accordingly."