BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -The cost of watching defending national champion LSU will jump this season, after the school's Board of Supervisors approved price hikes on Thursday for individual ticket sales and many season ticket packages.
Season ticket holders who pay into the school's ``Tradition Fund'' will see those fees jump by up to 100 percent over three years. Those who paid a $500 fee last year will pay $650 this year, $800 next year and $950 in 2010.
The price of individual non-conference games will go from $40 to $45, and tickets for Southeastern Conference games will increase from $45 to $50. Student ticket prices are unchanged.
Athletic director Skip Bertman told the board the increases are necessary to pay for rising costs of coaches' salaries, travel, utilities and upkeep on 84-year-old Tiger Stadium. Even after the increases, Bertman said ticket prices and fees would be among the lowest in the SEC.
``This funding plan really isn't excessive,'' Bertman told the board.
Bertman said the increases will raise $11.6 million over the next three years.
Board member Charles Weems offered the only objection, saying the school needs to find another way to raise money for athletics. Otherwise, Weems said ticket price hikes will become routine and fans will be priced out of Tiger Stadium.
``What we are basically doing is presiding over the systematic eviction from Tiger Stadium of those many loyal fans who supported the football team when they were 2-9 and 3-8,'' he said. ``We must find a way to keep these loyal people in Tiger Stadium.''

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