South Carolina raises ticket prices for women's basketball games next season

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- It's going to cost fans more to watch South Carolina coach Dawn Staley and her powerhouse Gamecocks next season.

The athletic department said Tuesday it is raising season ticket prices for women's basketball on the 13,784 non-student seats at Colonial Life Arena for the 2022-23 season. About 4,000 seats at the 18,000 capacity arena are for South Carolina students, whose tickets are paid through athletic fees as part of tuition.

Prices for general admission season tickets in the upper tier, affecting 5,776 seats, will rise $10 to $55. Reserved seating prices in the upper tier will go from $45 to $85, affecting 876 seats.

The Gamecocks, who averaged 12,268 fans this season, have led women's basketball in attendance the past eight years. South Carolina went 16-0 at home, including wins in its first two NCAA Tournament games last weekend.

Athletic director Ray Tanner said the school has had just two previous price hikes in Staley's 14 seasons, the last coming before the 2018-19 season.

"We have resisted changing that formula for ticket prices for many years," he said in a statement, "but it is time to reflect the value of what the fans are coming to see each night at Colonial Life Arena."

Seats in the lower section will go from $70 to $100 next year, a move that affects 4,424 seats. The 3,338 seats closer to the court in the lower section will go from $70 to $200.

Premium seats along the court will increase the most. The 292 seats will go from $270 to $325, while the 78 floor seats will rise from $470 to $565.

South Carolina has invested in its women's basketball program and Staley, who received a new, seven-year contract in October worth $22.4 million.

The tournament's No. 1 overall seed, the Gamecocks play fifth-seeded North Carolina in the Greensboro Region on Friday night in the Sweet 16.