How valuable is a ticket to a Kansas football game?
Relatively speaking, the Jayhawks boast one of the best bargains in the Big Eight when you consider their ``family plan'' offering.
For $24, two adults and up to four children gain end-zone admission to a single game.
``I think it gives a real affordable option for families that have kids to come to the games,'' KU assistant athletic director Richard Konzem said. ``It's meant for somebody with two or three or four kids. You can easily go to a ballpark and spend $50 on tickets. This is a little bit better deal.
``I don't want to say it's tremendously popular,'' Konzem said of the family plan, ``but there has been some interest.''
THERE CAN be quite a savings when you consider general admission tickets in the north end zone run $8. That $8 price tag, however, is the least expensive in the Big Eight. For persons age 60 and above, it's even cheaper at $6.
A seat closer to the action costs $18 for the Ball State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Colorado games, $19 for the Thursday night contest with California (including a $1 surcharge for the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame), and $20 for Kansas State. General admission tickets aren't available for the K-State contest.
Konzem said he'd heard no complaints about an increase in prices for this season's tickets, which last year cost $16.
``The only thing I've heard is how excited people are about the Thursday night game,'' he said. ``That's the one thing I've heard several times.''
KU season tickets, for six games, cost $111 for the seats closest to midfield and $86 for seats closer to the end zones. It's $56 for faculty and staff.
As a promotional tool, KU might put out the most attractive ticket brochure in the conference.
``IT MAY BE a little more colorful this year,'' Konzem said. ``You've got to have some kind of order form to mail for fans, and it's a sales piece, too.''
Konzem recalled that last year's brochure featuring KU players stated, ``You don't have to buy KU season tickets, but don't tell these guys.''
KU printed 60,000 of the brochures, according to assistant director of marketing Jill Godfrey, who said the brochure was ``one a number of things that go into our season ticket push.''
At OU, a ticket brochure was deemed necessary last season as a means of increasing sales. The Sooners produced another one this year.
``We started it last year for the first time,'' OU ticket manager John Walker said. ``This year we're going to hit it a little harder than last year.''
Walker said OU was shooting for 60,000 season tickets.
``We've had a little attrition, which is natural,'' he said. ``That's why we're printing up a brochure that will entice sales.''
Oklahoma is charging $130 for public season tickets to six games, compared to $135 for seven games last season.
The cost is $106 for faculty and staff, and $35 for students. Single-game tickets are $20 execept for the Nebraska and Southern Cal contests, which cost $30.
CHARGING MORE for the most attractive games isn't unusual around the Big Eight.
``We've done it last three years,'' Walker said. ``Last year, Colorado and Oklahoma State were featured games. The year before that, it was Pittsburgh and Nebraska. Some people have questioned it, but we feel it's competitive for the entertainment dollar.
``If you go to a Dallas Cowboys game,'' Walker added, ``it will cost $18, $20, $25. We consider an Oklahoma-Nebraska ticket to be as valuable as that.''
Oklahoma owns the honor of the most expensive single-game ticket in the conference to the Nebraska and USC contests.
The Huskers' tickets come cheaper than Oklahoma's, but not much. The six-game season ticket package runs $128, while faculty pays $102.50 and students $48.
It's $20 for single-game tickets except for Colorado, which is $28.
Actually, Nebraska could probably charge more. The Huskers have a streak of 182 consecutive sellouts dating to 1962.
``There are a lot of factors involved in raising prices,'' NU ticket manager Joe Selig explained. ``It's not something where we are trying to gouge people.''
THE HUSKERS did, in fact, raise prices this season. Their old prices were $18.50 ($25 for Oklahoma or Colorado).
``Whenever you raise prices, you're always going to get some negative feedback,'' Selig said. ``But people realize the situation we're in, and the tight budget.''
Selig said the Huskers had a season ticket renewal rate ``in the upper 90s,'' adding that they don't maintain a waiting list.
``We accept requests each year and evaluate them,'' he said. ``We give priority to people who join the booster club.''
Tickets for K-State football might be considered a bargain, especially if you purchase the family plan.
Season tickets cost $85, but end zone season tickets for a family of four (two adults and two children) go for only $110. A pass for each additional child costs just $25 on the family plan.
``It has worked out extremely well,'' KSU ticket manager Carol Adolph reported. ``We've been doing that for the last four or five years. It's been very popular. It's increasing all the time.''
Single-game tickets for each of the Wildcats' five home games are $17. That's a change from last season, when some tickets were priced at $16, others at $20.
End-zone seats for a family of four are $27.
``We've been doing family individual game tickets for probably 20 years,'' Adoph said.
The Cowboys offer a variety of options for their five-game home schedule.
For season tickets, the price is $79 for the public and $62 for faculty and staff. But a mini-package that consists of Indiana State, Tulsa and Missouri can be purchased for $39.
``It looks like that's going to suit those people who can't come to five or six home games,'' OSU ticket manager Rose Marie Carnefix said. ``I think we're all trying to do something that suits people's needs.''
The Cowboys' ``Family Fun Zone,'' end-zone seating for two adults and three children, can be purchased for $99. That includes four games, all but Oklahoma.
``I felt there were a lot of families here in Stillwater that would be interested in that,'' Carnefix said. ``That's a good deal.''
TICKETS FOR students age 6 through eighth grade are offered for $36. That not only includes season admission, but a membership card, T-shirt and a summer outing with coach Pat Jones and the players, which includes food, an autograph session and a team poster.
``That's a fun thing for the children,'' Carnefix said. ``We've always had the youth end zone, but never to this magnitude.''
The response, Carenfix said, has been ``super.''
``When a child is coming,'' she added, ``usually an adult is going to come, too.''
OSU's single-game prices also vary from $18 for the Indiana State, Tulsa and Missouri games, $19 for Iowa State, and $25 for Oklahoma.
``We're kind of offering something for everyone,'' Carnefix said. ``We're very encouraged with the response we've had with little or no publicity. Our sales this week have been just brisk. All of our promotions have started this week.''
The Tigers offer season tickets to six games for $109, but they charge only $68 for family seating in the end zone.
Junior Tiger season tickets, for children 2 to 12, are $24.
For single games, Missouri is charging $17 for the Kansas, Kansas State, Colorado and Marshall games, and $20 for Nebraska and Texas A&M.;
Unlike some schools, the Buffs have no special plans or variety of ticket options. They don't need to.
For the third straight season, Colorado football will be sold out at home 51,748 per game.
``There is a waiting list,'' CU ticket manager John Degling reported, ``but we've been able to take care of most of it. That makes it easier in some ways, but harder in others because there's so much demand for what is left. But I'd rather have it sold out anytime.''
Season tickets cost $134 for six home games. Degling said Colorado had a season ticket renewal rate of approximately 96 percent.
It's $21 for single games, but the Oklahoma and Iowa contests carry a $4 premium and a $25 price tag.
Faculty and staff season tickets are $104, and student season tickets are $10, plus an athletic fee of $33. Students 12 and under can purchase a ticket to one football and two basketball games for $25.
Like Oklahoma State, the Cyclones are offering a mini-season ticket package. But Iowa State gives you a choice.
You can pick Ohio, Northern Iowa and Kansas for $54, or Tulane, Missouri and Nebraska for $59.
``This is the fourth year we've done this,'' ISU ticket manager Pam Fultz said, ``and it's worked very well. A lot of people who don't believe they can attend all the games are very pleased with this.''
Fultz said the Cyclones' mini-package sales are about 25 percent of their regular season ticket package, which this year contains six games for $108.
Nebraska, as usual, commands a premium price. Iowa State's single-game price is $23 for the Nebraska game, $18 for the rest.
Faculty members pay $72, students $36 for season tickets.
Fultz said ticket sales are ``about where they were last year. We'd like to have a better renewal rate, but it's not awful by any means.''