Friday, January 4, 2013

Seatbacks and Armrests: What Are They Worth to You?

Posted By on Fri, Jan 4, 2013 at 9:41 AM

Any consideration about whether my budget could handle season tickets for the 2013 version of University of Arizona football went out the door this afternoon when a very enterprising UA ticket rep locked me into two seats to what all Wildcat fans hope will be a Rose Bowl-bound entertaining team to watch.

But not just any seats, mind you. No, this guy snatched up two of the snazzy new North End Zone seats, complete with chair backs and armrests. No more bench-induced backaches or concern that the fatty to my left has half a cheek on my piece of the aluminum over here.

It wasn't until after I'd paid a $200 deposit ($100 per ticket) that I started to consider just how much extra I was paying to upgrade my comfort level, not to mention my status above the bench-warming masses.

The total price for each season ticket for the new seats in the lower half of the still-under-construction North End Zone is $285, which includes $150 for the seat itself and a $135 'priority' amount that varies based on the level of seating one chooses. The same applies for most basketball season tickets.

That comes to $570 for the season, or $95 per game for the 6-game home schedule. That compares to the $500 I paid for two seats just to the south and east — in fact, I'm pretty sure I can start a food fight with whoever gets my old seats, assuming I've warmed up my arm first like the kid in the Cam Newton NFL.com commercial — this past season.

But that was for eight contests, or $62.50 per game. And that schedule included games against rival Arizona State, plus USC and a marquee non-conference foe, Oklahoma State.

The 2013 schedule isn't out yet — expect it to be announced Monday along with the rest of the Pac-12 Conference — but it certainly doesn't have the same flair that 2012 had. The UA is lined up to host Oregon, UCLA, Utah and Washington State for conference games, and the school had previously announced a Sept. 14 home date against alphabet school UTSA (Texas-San Antonio for those scoring at home).

The sixth home game is almost certainly going to be Northern Arizona, Arizona's bi-annual, early-season whipping boy to the north. The guy who sold me my tickets wouldn't go into specifics, but did say 'people who know the UA should know who we're playing; it's the same one we face around that time every two years.'

Arizona has hosted NAU in either the first or second week of the season in every odd year since 2005.

So, until Labor Day weekend comes and I get my first chance to settle into my new Arizona Stadium seat I'll have plenty of time to wonder whether the ability to lean back as opposed to leaning forward is worth a nearly 50 percent increase in how much I'm pay for use of said seat back each week.

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