LSU board approves football ticket fee hike

Updated: August 21, 2003, 1:29 PM ET

BATON ROUGE, La. -- A sharp price hike on most LSU football tickets -- some of which will become about three times more expensive -- received overwhelming aproval from the LSU Board of Supervisors on Thursday.

The plan, which will take effect in 2004, nearly triples the current $32 price of most lower sideline seats by raising the base ticket price to $36 and adding annual surcharges of between $350-$400 for season ticket holders.

An $85 fee would be charged for the right to buy end zone season tickets and for some upper deck seats. And the best upper deck seats near midfield would carry a $150 fee.

LSU athletic Director Skip Bertman has said the plan is needed to pay for improvements to 91,600-seat Tiger Stadium, the Maravich Assembly Center and other athletic facilities, because LSU's athletic department is self-suporting and does not use state or tuition money.

Many other universities against which LSU competes charge similar annual fees to season ticket holders and are attracting top atheletes with state-of-the-art facilities, Bertman has argued.

Most the board of supervisors praised Bertman for the "excellence" of his plan before passing it by a 14-1 vote.

"My corresponence has been overwhelmingly in favor of it," board member Charles S. Weems III said. "There's not a tradition greater than Saturday night in Tiger Stadium. We want excellence in academics, athletics, administration, and this is a step in that direction."

But many fans have been upset by the plan.

"This isn't about leadership. It's about corporate greed," LSU law student Donald Hodge told the board before its vote. "It's going to put poor people out of the stadium. All this is about is how you can put all the rich people together and kick the poor people out. To say we need this money is a lie. We already have good facilities and we alreay have competitive athletics."

Still many fans have said they are resigned to such a plan in order for LSU to keep up with athletic powerhouses around the country. And they say it's only fair that those who get the best seats pay the most.

LSU's long term plans include a new baseball stadium, for example. Other plans include replacing the upper deck and private suites on the west side of Tiger Stadium, and building new football offices and training rooms.

Bertman has said his goal is to make LSU one of the top five college athletic programs in the country.

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