Ticket prices at Stephens Auditorium raise eyebrows among students


Jonathan Krueger/Iowa State Daily

Students are able to purchase their tickets through the Stephen’s Auditorium ticket office located in the Iowa State Center or Ticketmaster. Schedules for events can be found at the website center.iastate.edu. This year includes “Memphis,” the musical.

Nicole Presley

Providing affordable entertainment is very important business to the staff at Stephen’s Auditorium. Determining the price of tickets for the general public and the students of Iowa State is a science all of it’s own that Mark North, general manager of Iowa State Center, is all too familiar with.

“Ticket prices are subject to the health of the economy in a market as well as the audience demographics,” North said. “Sometimes the offer is accepted ‘as is’ or the agent will ask for more dollars in the talent guarantee, which will drive up the ticket price.”

Ticket prices for ISU students are around $20 to $25, depending on the show. That is about half the price of a general admissions ticket that the rest of the community of Ames has to pay.

However, these prices might not be enough to lure the students to the shows.

“I don’t have time for things that don’t interest me,” said Jennifer Gibbons, senior in kinesiology. “I have things that I have to do, a.k.a. homework, that take up a lot of my time.”

The different genres of shows that come to Stephens should be enough to entertain some of the students some of the time, but that might not be the case after all.

“I feel like some of the shows, like Bill Cosby, are aimed toward the community of Ames rather than the students,” said Kaitlyn Chase, senior in music education.

Despite the reviews, Stephens still generates a large amount of ticket sales for the Performing Arts Series, ISU events and the other contemporary events, such as concerts and comedians. In one year,the number of tickets sold will range from 25,000 to 35,000.

“The product is great, but [ticket prices] may seem like a lot to college students,” said Sara Mildenstein, sophomore in music education.

North predicts ticket prices will go up in the near future. Since 1996, ticket prices have increased every year due to talent fees and an increase in show related expenses.