Ticket prices for Kansas University men's home basketball games are going up, but not in the traditional blanket fashion.
Members of the KU Athletic Corp. board adopted a tier system for price hikes during their regular May meeting Friday afternoon.
"The plan has fair and equitable pricing schemes," said Susan Williams, an associate professor of engineering who chairs the board's finance committee. "We think it's a fair plan. Most of our peer institutions have similar plans."
Allen Fieldhouse has been divided into three sections -- gold, light blue and dark blue. Instead of all tickets costing $30, each section will have different prices.
Gold seats are in the prime areas between the end zones. All of the chairback seats are in this area, and they'll cost $35 for the 2003-2004 season.
"We talked about going to $40," Williams said, "but we didn't want to do that all at once."
Light-blue seats are the remaining public and faculty-staff reserved seats. They'll cost $32.
Dark-blue seats are for students and for general admission when GA is available. The GA ticket price will remain $30. Student seats are available only through a combination football-men's basketball ticket. The price of that combo ticket escalated from $100 to $125 by board action earlier this year.
In reality, the cost of single-game gold and light-blue seats is moot because they are available only as season-ticket packages. KU will have two fewer home games next season because the Jayhawks are not in the Preseason NIT, so the cost of a light-blue season ticket will go up just $2 from $511 to $513. However, the gold season tickets will jump to $561. Gold faculty-staff tickets will climb from $409 to $449 and faculty-staff light blue from $409 to $410.
"If the people who sit in the gold seats don't want to pay the increase," Williams said, "we'll be happy to move them somewhere else."
That's not likely because of the long waiting list for season tickets.
Williams emphasized the new ticket plan had nothing to do with the size of a seat owner's donations to the athletic department.
"This is not tied in any way," she said, "to donations to the Williams Fund."
The men's basketball adjustment -- the first in three years -- will generate an additional $493,238 for the 2003-2004 fiscal year budget, Williams said.
Susan Wachter, the department's chief financial officer, submitted a FY 2004 budget of $27,288,000, or about $1.6 million more than this year's $25.6 million budget.
The board also elected Tom Mulinazzi, a professor of engineering, as next year's chair, replacing John Ferraro, a professor of speech and hearing. Mary Lee Hummert, a vice provost, was named vice chair.