As long as Husky Football toils in its present state, late October becomes time to focus on basketball. For the second season running, Seattle is home to not one, but two Division One programs. Well, more or less. Seattle U is in year two of a five year reintegration to D1 hoops. I don’t exactly understand why this takes five years, but then I don’t exactly understand plenty of things.
With the Sonics now long gone to a major metropolis, Key Arena boasts a bevy of open dates. Seattle U basketball is happy to fill this void.
On a lark I looked up season ticket information for the Redhawks, and was surprised at the prices I saw.
Courtside seats (rows 2-4): $150 for the season. $11.54/game.
Center court seating: $112.50 for the season. $8.65/game.
Corner seating: $50 for the season. $3.85/game.
Behind the basket: $40 for the season. $3.08/game.
Student admission free with Seattle U ID.
Even considering the (ahem) limited appeal of D1 purgatory basketball, the thought of paying high school basketball prices to see quasi-top-level college hoops is appealing. So much so that I had to double check. “The ticket prices you quoted are correct,” confirmed Seattle U SID Jason Behenna. Looks like I CAN read for comprehension. Take that, LSAT!
Compare these ticket prices with those for the University of Washington.
Tyee club seats with backs (rows 1-26): $498 for the season. $26.21/game.
Public bleachers without backs (rows 27-31): $364 for the season. $19.16/game.
On the surface that appears to not be a huge difference, but the Tyee seats require an accompanying per seat donation. The yearly donation levels for Tyee are $900, $450, $250, or $150. If you want to sit up close you better be paying the upper donations, and you better be prepared to wait for people to die.
I would assume the $900 donation is necessary over a period of many years to reach the first four rows at Hec Ed. That donation would push the per game cost of a ticket to $73.58. And honestly, if you really want to sit close at Husky games you are going to have to write a check bigger than $900. From what I hear, a one-time donation in the area of five figures is required to leapfrog the $900 a year crowd.
Tyee per game cost with donation:
$900 donation: $73.58/game.
$450 donation: $49.89/game.
$250 donation: $39.37/game.
$150 donation: $34.11/game.
Now obviously you are paying a premium for a better product when it comes to Husky hoops. I am not trying to argue that the programs are anywhere near the same level. The big games at UW are going to have an atmosphere that Seattle U could never approximate, barring a meteoric and unlikely rise in the Redhawks’ profile.
I would however argue that the home games against Cal-State Northridge, which both UW and Seattle feature, will actually have a similar (-ly dead) atmosphere. I know how the UW vs. Cal-State game is going to turn out. I have no idea how the Seattle vs. Cal-State game will turn out. If I’m buying a ticket for only one of those games, I think I would honestly prefer to pay $5 and check out the Redhawks in a better seat than I would get at Hec Ed.
The nascent Division One Seattle U program offers an additional opportunity that Husky Basketball does not. I feel like at these prices I could legitimately become a booster for the Redhawks. Imagine, an opportunity to swagger around Key Arena glad-handing my fellow Seattle U aristocrats! I could give Cameron Dollar a stern look after a disappointing loss to Idaho. I could subsequently receive a beating from Cameron Dollar. In a semi-official capacity!
Wait a second, I did not see any ticket prices quoted above for the explicit first row of Seattle U hoops. Jason Behenna, do I need to make a donation for those? “…donation is mandated, cannot reveal the amount to public.”
A dream deferred.
University of Washington Men’s Basketball season tickets (GoHuskies.com)
Seattle U Men’s Basketball season tickets (GoSeattleU.com)