Tuesday, June 06, 2006

UW to donors: thanks for the cash, here's your nothing

The CapTimes has an article today about how UW is trying to stop people from continuing to support Badger football: UW gets cash, fan gets zip. It appears that a man was under the impression that, in exchange for his $550 donation to the Badger Fund, he would be guaranteed the opportunity to purchase football tickets. Not so much; it turns out that there are only so many season tickets to go around, and that the more you donate to the Badger Fund, the better your chances of being able to buy a set become. Of course, this year, 99% of fans renewed their tickets, meaning that those who weren't donating far more than $500 (try closer to $2000, the article implies) weren't going to find themselves in that remaining 1% of people receiving the opportunity to purchase tickets.

The radio commercials that the Athletic Department ran did seem deceptive to me. A $500 donation would give me the "opportunity to request" season tickets. Hmmm. $500 for an opportunity for a request? No thanks.

But at the end of the day, all you've done is make a donation -- a gift. Not a purchase. So, the money isn't refundable, and you get nothing in return. Gift wasn't big enough? Make sure you go bigger next year! Thanks for playing!

This is the sort of thing that's going to cost UW if the program goes south. Who's going to make the annual $500 "donations" to watch a 3-8 team? Or even a 6-6 team? The Badgers are winners ... for now. So they can do this to fans ... for now. The day that they can't isn't so far off, though.