Despite their non-profit status*, university athletic departments price their tickets using strategies like the pros do. For one thing, they practice price discrimination. Students get cheaper tickets than the general public and alumni and they don’t have to donate to the athletic departments. At some schools, students get poorer seats, so price discrimination isn’t the only factor explaining the price differential. But at the University of Missouri, students get prime football seating in the east stands, right across from the alumni. So Mizzou’s pricing strategy is largely price discriminatory.
But according to this article, the university is not using price discrimination in pricing tickets to the Big XII championship game, meaning student tickets will be priced at the same rate as the general public. An explanation for this is that because of the uniqueness of the event, students and the general public have the same demand, on average, for the game.
*Being non-profit does not mean that you don’t have profits as an objective. All it does is restrict what you can do with earned profits, meaning that they can’t be dispersed to shareholders. As I was told at a meeting when I jokingly brought up the fact that my university is a non-profit, I was told by an older gentleman at my table “Oh, we get plenty of profits. We just make sure we spend it all.”
Cross-posted at Market Power