Higher Cost To Sit In Death Valley - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Higher Cost To Sit In Death Valley

It's almost time once again for Saturday nights in LSU's Tiger Stadium. But this year, armed with a national championship and the new right to require donations for seats, LSU's going to charge you a lot more to soak up that experience. WAFB's Jennifer Hale explains.

The Tiger Athletic Foundation has long required a donation for a select few seats in Death Valley. But this year for the first time ever, that surcharge applies to almost every seat in Tiger Stadium. The new required contribution will generate almost 8-million extra dollars. Paired with the 3-million dollars TAF usually raises from their seats -- that's almost 11-million dollars total.

"That money is going into football stadium improvements. Teamed up with TAF money it will help build things like the west side upper deck and the new football operations center," says Herb Vincent, LSU Athletics. 

It may sound like a lot, but it's actually about average. Florida pockets 15-million dollars from mandatory donations, Tennessee 13-million, Alabama 12-million, LSU is in at almost 11-million, while Auburn generates 7-million and Ole Miss about 5-million.

"Before this year we ranked near the bottom in contributions attached to seats," says Vincent. "This puts us in the middle of the pack. Not at the top, not at the bottom. We're now very competitive in this area."

Ticket surcharges are mainly found here in the SEC. Many other universities in other divisions, instead charge a lot more initially for every ticket's face value.

If you're selling your tickets, you can tack your pro-rated surcharge onto your ticket's face value without violating Louisiana's anti-scalping law. For instance, if you paid the $400 surcharge, divide that by 7. The number of LSU's homegames. Legally -- you can ask for an extra $57 per ticket.

Tiger Stadium Access

LSU is advising fans to get to campus early because the festivities are rolling ahead of schedule. Officials say some of the entrances to Tiger Stadium are closed off, due to major construction to the west side -- where TAF is adding an extra 3,000 seats.

About one-third of LSU fans won't be able to use their regular entrance gates. To help get everyone inside in time using temporary portals, the Golden Band from Tigerland will march 30 minutes earlier than usual for every home game this year. Gates will also open half an hour sooner.

While construction won't wrap up until next season, LSU players are confident that's a challenge their fans will easily tackle.

"I'm sure they'll be here if they have to climb over the fence. No way you're going to keep these people out from what they came to see. It shouldn't be a problem at all," says LSU defensive end Marcus Spears. 

Kickoff for Saturday's game is 5 p.m. ESPN College Gameday will be on campus bright and early Saturday morning for all the action. Click on the link below for more on the Tiger Stadium access. 

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