Posted by Jerry Hinnen
The biggest change for Missouri's athletics programs and its football team can be summed simply: they're moving from the Big 12 to the SEC. But there's a ton of other smaller changes that go along with that big change, and Tiger fans and boosters are going to feel several of them in the wallet.
That's the takeaway from this open letter from Missouri athletic director Mike Alden to "Tiger Nation" addressing the "5 basic areas on which we see those challenges" arising in the SEC. Among those are "Facilities," "Operational Costs," and other areas which will require an increase in the athletic budget.
Towards that end, Alden announced that the Tigers would implement "an increase in ticket prices in football across the board," faculty and students excepted. Those prices will fall in the "middle of the pack" for the SEC.
Missouri will also add seating to their south end zone -- including moving the band into the "southeast corner of the student section" -- and increasing the level of "minimum donations" to the Tiger Scholarship Fund. Season ticket holders grandfathered in from before required donations will also now have to make some level of donation to keep those tickets, beginning in 2013.
In short: SEC membership doesn't come with a free bumper sticker, but if it did, it would be "Expensive but worth it."
The financial effort might be the most immediate fallout from the SEC decision, but Alden's letter also announced several more:
- The Tigers will debut their "re-branding" of their Nike-produced uniforms, which will "focus much more on our [Tiger] logo than the 'block M.'" We are both excited and afraid.
- Faurot Field will undergo some major changes, including a new artificial turf surface (at a cost of $1.5 million) and a shift from "Missouri" to "Mizzou" in each end zone. And of course, the SEC logo will adorn the field as well.
- Tickets allotted for visiting fans will be increased from approximately 3,800 to 6,000, because, well, to put it simply, Georgia is going to want more than 3,800 tickets.
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