Season tickets for some schools in the NCAA's top tier, the Football Championship Subdivision, cost the same as dinner for two at a coffee shop. The big-time college season starts Thursday (Sept. 1), so you'll get an extra week's jump on the pros, too.
Kent State charges as little as $30 for an entire season of six home games, plus parking. To put that into perspective, the average New England Patriots fan pays $117.84 for one ticket to one game, according to CNNMoney.com. Western Kentucky also charges a mere $30, followed by New Mexico State and Florida International at $44 and Eastern Michigan at $45, according to Rivals.com. They are the recession-tackling darlings of the 120 FCS teams.
Granted, Kent State isn't exactly a gridiron juggernaut. Despite playing in the relatively weak Midwestern Athletic Conference, they've finished with 5 wins and 7 losses two seasons running. But the Golden Flashes still play at the same official level as college football's elite, and we're betting that they're a lot nicer than that naughty University of Miami.
The northeastern Ohio university likes to point out that its in-state and conference rival, Akron, charges three times as much for season tickets, and Akron won just one game last year. Kent State's marketing often targets local street fairs to get the word out about its ticket value, Carr said. The strategy seems to be working: The school more than doubled its season-ticket base from 600 in 2009 to 1,350 in 2011.
"Our goal is to make affordable family prices, but on the same level, if we had a better record, I'm sure we could sell more tickets," Carr said.
At the other end of the gridiron spectrum, Ohio State receives a nation-high minimum $2,107 for season tickets (including donation), according to Rivals.com. The Buckeyes were followed by Notre Dame ($1,740), Wisconsin ($1,294), Michigan ($925) and Auburn ($665).
However, a DailyFinance StubHub search revealed that you can get a single season of Ohio State tickets, without owning them in perpetuity, for $660. A single season of Notre Dame was available for $1,100.
What's Notre Dame done lately anyway? Go Kent State!