Arizona Daily Wildcat September 9, 1997
Refunding season tickets is not a possibilityYes, Arizona football lost badly to Oregon and the season tickets that cost a lot of money are now looking like a mistake, but any thoughts about selling them back should remain just that - thoughts - because it can't be done.
Chris Schappel, the assistant ticket manager at the McKale ticket office, said, "There is a no refund and cancellation policy."
Although if there is a death in the family or a shotgun wedding that overlaps a Wildcat football game, the ticket office will consider a possible refund on a case-by-case basis.
While it's been a rumor that it could be done - the Wildcat has received calls asking for whom to contact for refunds - Schappel said he hasn't heard about anyone calling the ticket office.
So living with the ups and downs of being a Wildcat fan will have to do for now, however one institution has gone out on a limb for its fans.
The athletic department at Georgia State University in Atlanta has instituted a new policy at home basketball games where satisfaction is just about guaranteed.
GSU basketball coach Lefty Driesell announced all paying fans will be refunded their money for any home games that the Panthers don't win.
"When fans buy tickets, they want to get their money's worth. The average fan is fed up with big-time athletes who don't care if they win or lose," said Driesell in a syndicated article. "Well, now we're all in this together. If we lose, they don't pay. It's that simple."
So if it is that simple could Arizona afford this luxury for discouraged Wildcat fans?
"Hah," was John Perrin's initial word, or, grunted feeling.
The Senior Associate Athletic Director, who is in charge of financial affairs, then laughed.
"We have thought of all kinds of schemes and two for one deals," Perrin said. "And we think our prices are pretty competitive with other conference schools and programs our size.
"So, no we wouldn't consider that all. It would throw our operating budget in chaos."
The Athletic Department budget is roughly $22-23 million, which is distributed to the 18 varsity sports. Perrin estimated that Saturday's game with Alabama-Birmingham -Šwhich doesn't probably won't draw a great deal of people -Šticket sales would gross $400,000. Revenue generated from concessions fluctuates from $80,000-120,000 depending on the opponent, games with Southern Cal and Arizona State generating the highest numbers, Perrin said.
"I suppose if we were dealing with a few hundred people, losing gate receipts wouldn't be that big," Perrin said. "However, we'd have a serious problem."
It cost the Athletic Department $250,000 just to get Alabama-Birmingham to come to Tucson. Another $55,000-60,000 is roughly the cost for putting on an Arizona football game.
"The logistics alone would do is in," Perrin said. "We would have to hire a staff of a hundred people just to process the returns."
The Oct. 18 Washington game should gross around $1 million as is and if it's a sellout then that number would grow, Perrin said.
Arizona and Arizona State split the proceeds from their game with no limit on how much each school could make. ASU made $329,000 from last year's inter-state romp.
Darlene Castelan, who works in the McKale ticket office, said yesterday that of the 57, 803 seats available in Arizona Stadium 3,334 season student tickets have been sold. Non-student tickets sold is nearly 21,000.
"Those numbers are fairly close to the numbers last year at this same time," Castelan said. "We are doing pretty good."
However, the Wildcat basketball team winning the national title didn't make that much of an impact.
"Sales didn't really pick up until August," Castelan said.
Season tickets are still available until Friday. Student section seats are $27 and an identification card is required to purchase (day of game tickets cost students $6). Non-student ticket buyers have a variety to choose from: economy tickets cost $62 up to donor sideline tickets that are $136 base price, plus the $500-750 donation to the Wildcat club to be eligible for the seats.
With the UA football team and men's basketball team being the only sports that produce any capital, it would literally do in the Athletic Department budget if Arizona ever considered refunding money for losses.
"As interesting as it sounds," Perrin said. "Things are going to stay the same way for tickets as before."