A really interesting tidbit that landed in the e-mailbox was a release that can be seen here.
The summary: Towson returned its allotment of tickets for its Oct. 1 game at Maryland. Its argument? Not only are there vastly cheaper tickets on the secondary market for its fans to scoop up, the available seats are far better than the seats by the end zone where Maryland puts visiting fans.
In short, it’s a really, really smart thing to do.
Is it a little brazen? Certainly. Unusual? Definitely. But there’s nothing wrong with letting fans know they can spend $10 for a ticket rather than $38.
After posting this on Twitter this morning, I’ve heard from some irate Maryland fans who believe the first meeting between the schools should be the last. But consider two things.
One, Maryland has to pay a less costly guarantee to a team from the former Division I-AA that doesn’t have to fly in for the game. Any loss in ticket sales is probably going to be modest compared to cutting a smaller guarantee check.
Two, it’s a safe bet Maryland fans would rather pay less than face value when the Terrapins visit someone without a strong reputation for filling their stadium.
And that gets to the root of the issue. If Maryland could sell out Byrd Stadium on a consistent basis —- even for nonconference games that don’t move the needle for many fans —- a visiting team wouldn’t be able to point its fans toward the secondary market. Until that happens, it’s tough to blame a smaller school for trying to save its fans some money.
—- Patrick Stevens