South Carolina, coming off its best two campaigns in history, could raise football season ticket prices by as much as $45 this year to help pay for new facilities, Gamecocks athletics director Ray Tanner said Wednesday.
A price hike from $320 would be the first increase since 2008. A decision is expected by early March, Tanner said.
“I realize the economy changes, circumstances change, but I think we are at a point that, if we are going to increase ticket prices, now would be the right time,” he said.
If season-ticket prices rise, Tanner said he would ask the Gamecock Club to rescind a dues hike that’s starting in 2014.
Club membership is required to buy season tickets. Dues are scheduled to rise 5 percent except in the least expensive level, Roost, which will jump from $55 a year to $100.
“I’m not interested in increasing dues and ticket prices,” Tanner said.
In addition to the price of season tickets and Gamecock Club dues, fans must pay an annual seat fee of $50-$395. Tanner said the school has no plans to change that fee.
Last year, season-ticket sales surpassed 49,000 for the first time since the school started charging the seat fee in 2009. However, they remain below the 59,600 sold in the final year without the fee.
Raising season-ticket prices by $45 would add more than $2 million a year to USC’s coffers based on recent sales.
The athletics department has $51.5 million in projects proposed through 2015, including: new indoor and outdoor football practice fields; turning the parking lot around Williams-Brice Stadium into a tree lined plaza; and track and field improvements.
The Gamecocks are coming off their first two 11-win seasons and are expected to have another strong year led by consensus All-American defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.