Why Splurge on College Sports?

By Elizabeth Hilfrank on September 6, 2017

In an age where prices are rising for everything college-related, it’s hard to pick what to splurge on versus what not to. One thing that should always be on your “pay-for-it” list, however, is tickets to college sports games.

Sports are a huge part of life both in school and out of school. In fact, sporting events are one of the only reasons cable continues to exist today. Whether it be for the actual game or just the pre- and post- festivities, sporting events offer a little something for everyone.

But college sports? They are even more special. When else other than your four years at a university are you going to be able to go stand with hundreds of other people your age, wear crazy face paint and clothes, and cheer on some of your best friends and/or classmates without it being weird? College sports are intimate, and they offer something that is hard to find anywhere else.

“Penn State football is more than just a football game. Being in Beaver Stadium with 106,000 other fans is an experience and feeling that can’t be replicated and is worth all the money.”

Senior Juliette Busby made this statement after Pennsylvania State University’s home game against the University of Akron Zips Saturday. Even after the game had ended, she regarded how “hyped” up she was from all of the adrenaline that had been surrounding her for the past three hours.

A season pass for home games at Penn State costs $218.

It doesn’t matter what your college’s “sport” is either. Each university is bound to have a specialty, and you should invest in whatever it may be.

Christina Allan, a senior at Northeastern University, recalls all the fun she has had at her school’s winter sports games:

“At a school without a football team, so much school pride is showcased at hockey games! Getting a group together a few times a semester is a lot of fun and worth the price of admission.”

Paying the money to go to a game is also a way to make new friends. Standing in the student section, you are all united by a common bond — the love for the school. Many alumni will also come back for a game or two, so you never know, it could be a great networking opportunity. Professors are often found at the events as well, and what is a better conversation topic on a Monday morning than your team’s Saturday success?

I go to a Division 3 school, so my sports experiences are a little different than those at large Division 1 institutions. We pay at most $3 for the big lacrosse games, and that is an investment. When I was abroad, however, I spent most of my time with University of Michigan and Pennsylvania State University students. Nearly every one of the 20+ students said they paid for season tickets. In fact, they anxiously counted down the days to get them. Some even stated that they worked harder in school to get into the higher academic credit bracket for a better chance at tickets.

The Michigan students will actually also be paying to fly to Pennsylvania this season for the Michigan vs. Penn State game. They love the events so much that they wanted to embrace the rivalry with their new friends found in Madrid. These students could not stop talking about how much fun they have, painting their faces blue, screaming at the top of their lungs, and spending their entire Saturday celebrating the school they love.

When you go to the school that is being aired on TV, wouldn’t you rather be on TV than just watching from your room?

The price of the ticket can also be justified by more than just your experience. The college puts the hefty price tag on these tickets because they need the money to support the fan base. The stadium doesn’t take care of itself, either. So, you are supporting the team by having fun and splurging.

It is also worth the price to know that the cost increases with supply and demand. There are only so many tickets, but so many people want to go. Don’t you want to be one of the lucky ones?

College is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so you should do all of those once-in-a-lifetime things. It’s important to experience parts of the school that constitutes so much of what the school is. Think about how much college sports makes the news and the pressure placed on being a student athlete. Paying for games is a great way to show your support and to be a part of something truly special.

While the price may be daunting, I argue in favor of going to the games. If I had the opportunity, I would do it. Plus, with the student discount, you are still paying less than you would for a season pass to a professional team. And chances are, some of these students will go pro, so you are getting the first look!



I'm a junior at Gettysburg College with a self-designed major called Writing and Performing Media, and I am a Spanish minor. When I'm not studying, I'm probably running with the cross country or track team, hanging out with my sorority, Alpha Delta Pi, looking at pictures of my dog or eating (mostly desserts). I love all things journalism, and I have a strong passion for storytelling.

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