The Detroit News reports today that Nebraska's $392 is the second highest priced season ticket for football in the Big Ten. Only Ohio State is higher, charging $560 for 8 games. That's $14 higher on a per-game basis. Trailing Nebraska in ticket prices are Michigan ($390), Iowa ($388), and Penn State ($385), which all are $1 or less than Nebraska per game. Nebraska doesn't vary their ticket price for season ticket holders per game; it's $56 whether it's Michigan or Idaho State. For visiting fans as well as fans buying single game tickets, the price does vary. Last season, Chattanooga tickets were only $55 while Big Ten conference games (and Washington as well) were $70.
That's actually on the low end for single game prices anymore. In Nebraska's final years in the Big XII, opponents regularly used to hike the ticket prices they charged for the Nebraska game. In recent years, I was appalled by the prices being charged by opponents as they regularly exceeded what the price would be if the game was in Lincoln. I've been voting with my wallet, preferring to watch games on television at some of the more ridiculous prices.The prices for Husker tickets have moderated in recent years, starting with the arrival of Steve Pederson. In 2001, season tickets were $340, though that was for 8 games. Pederson dropped the price shortly after taking over in 2003, and prices have continued to creep upwards. This season's $392 price is the same as last season.
Of course, most season tickets come with a mandatory donation to Nebraska. Not all tickets, mind you. Some long-time ticket-holders who have held their seats for decades don't have to donate. That's the reward for sticking with the team through Bill Jennings and Bill Callahan, I guess. If you want tickets today, however, you'll need to make a donation. And that donation will determine what kind of seat you'll get. $500 will probably get you access to two seats in the end zones. Want one on the sidelines? It'll probably cost you well over $1000; the more you commit to donate each and every year, the better seats you'll probably have access to.
Next season, the east stadium expansion should be complete with another 6,000 seats going up for sale. While these seats will be up high, they may have prime vantage points. Nebraska hasn't begun planning those ticket sales yet, but you can rest assured that those seats will require donations.
Frankly, when I first saw this article, I thought Nebraska's prices were a value compared to what Ohio State is charging and what other schools charge on a per-game basis. Sure, you can buy Indiana or Purdue football tickets for less, but there are two reasons for that. The first is, of course, the quality of the product, and that reflects on the second, the interest in the product. Even Northwestern, for all it's success on the field, has pathetic interest in their tickets. When the Huskers come to Chicago this season, it'll be a sellout...but it'll remind folks of past Huskers/Wildcat football games.
Specifically, the games in Manhattan before Bill Snyder. And that's why Nebraska ticket prices are high; Husker fans love their Nebraska football, and travel to prove it.