I read an article at The Sports Economist that discusses the ticket prices for infants at college football games. The problem comes from schools charging a full ticket price for infants, because even if they are sitting in their parents laps they usually have enough gear with them to take up a seat and it encroaches on other fans’ seats. Some schools charge full price, some charge partial prices, and the author suggests having family packs that could be bought which would place all of the children in one area so that the space can be better planned for and keep from bothering people who came without their babies.

So what is the proper price for parents of infants to pay? Of course it depends on what it costs to have the kids come in (including the expected costs imposed on other paying customers) and the willingness of parents to pay.

The article notes that Nebraska, Texas, and Oklahoma each charge to admit infants, but these schools, unlike Mizzou and KU, face a binding capacity constraint: NU, for example, has sold out every single game since the early 1960’s. When capacity constraints hold, infants brought to games are more likely to impose costs on other paying customers than at KU and at MU, where games rarely sell out.

For schools with sell out crowds, I think that it makes sense to charge for infants to come to the game. For games where half the stadium is empty, it is really nothing more than trying to get every last penny out of their fans.

The other question that I have, though, is whether it makes sense to bring an infant to a game? Football season can get to be pretty cold, and if the game is anywhere close to halfway decent there are going to be a lot of loud (often drunk) and obnoxious people. Some babies might like the atmosphere, some might be able to sleep through it, but most I would tend to think might get a little upset at being cold and having all kinds of loud and scary noises surrounding them.

Is this a problem that you have ever had to deal with? Would you pay for a face value ticket to get your infant child into a game? Would your baby be well behaved enough not to bother the people in the stands with you? I do not have any children yet, so I have never been exposed to this sort of problem personally. Given where I live, I am not really likely to have much trouble with getting a baby into a game, either.