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LSU delays vote on football ticket price hike

Melinda Deslatte, Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- After a tough loss to Ole Miss, LSU is delaying a decision on raising football ticket prices.

The LSU Board of Supervisors announced Wednesday that a proposal to raise prices on football and baseball tickets and parking has been removed from the agenda for its Friday meeting. Instead, the board will hear a presentation from the athletic department about why it's recommending price hikes.

In an email, Louisiana State University said the price hikes — which would start with the 2014 football season and the 2015 baseball season — will be considered at a future meeting, but didn't say why the vote was being temporarily shelved.

The delay comes as the football team was reeling from an upset loss at Mississippi that dropped the Tigers to two losses for the season and upended chances that 13th-ranked LSU can make it to the Southeastern Conference title game in Atlanta.

When contacted about the agenda change, Blake Chatelain, chairman of the Board of Supervisors' athletic committee, said the Tigers' loss to Ole Miss had nothing to do with the vote delay.

"There's never a good time to have to adjust prices, but it's not tied to that at all," he said.

Board chairman Bobby Yarborough agreed, saying the loss has "zero connection."

Chatelain said the board will hear a presentation Friday from Athletics Director Joe Alleva, who wants permission to set ticket prices for home football games according to both the date and the opponent, in addition to boosting season ticket prices overall by 6 percent. The maximum increase would be $100, depending on where the tickets are located in Tiger Stadium.

The proposal also would increase the costs of reserved car and RV parking places, allow sales taxes to be charged on tickets and would give authority to raise ticket and parking prices up to 10 percent in later seasons to the LSU president, rather than the Board of Supervisors.

Chatelain said some sort of price hike will probably be approved in December, after board members have had time to consider the athletic department's recommendations. Yarborough said he expects the proposal to be changed slightly, and he wants the board to get details about how other Southeastern Conference schools price tickets.

"Nobody wants to have to raise prices. The challenge is it's been a while since any price adjustments have been made. Costs continue to go up," Chatelain said.