Skydome, Flagstaff Symphony tickets to increase by $2

Ticket prices to events in the Skydome and Flagstaff Symphony concerts in Ardrey Auditorium will increase by $2 this year and another $2 next year, Northern Arizona University has announced.

NAU students attending Lumberjack athletic events at the Skydome and elsewhere on campus will continue to have free admission. They also will continue to receive free or discounted admission to NAU-sponsored cultural events at Ardrey and other on-campus locations.

Jennus Burton, NAU vice president for Finance and Administration, said the revenue from increased ticket prices will go toward the Skydome operating budget and supports the renovation and upkeep as well as other projects. The increased revenue will free up funds in the general budget to help offset continuing budget reductions from the state, currently identified at $30.4 million for fiscal year 2012 alone.

The Skydome is undergoing its first major renovation since the facility was constructed in 1977. The $25.6 million project, which also addresses fire life and safety issues, is scheduled for completion in early September.

Ardrey Auditorium is scheduled for a $7.5 million renovation, pending approval by the Arizona Board of Regents. Work on Ardrey is expected to begin this summer and continue through summer 2012.

“Anyone attending events at the Skydome, and eventually Ardrey, will see a variety of improvements, including upgraded seating and access,” Burton said. “Although the small ticket price increase of $2 will not fully recover the costs of renovation,it helps somewhat with the budget shortfall.”

The increase will impact ticketed events at the Skydome, including high school football games, as well as Flagstaff Symphony concerts in Ardrey. s

NAU President John Haeger said the university will study its overall ticket-pricing policy over the next year to determine its impact on students, faculty, staff and the public.

NAU’s state appropriations have been cut by about $60 million since FY09. The reductions have forced university officials to investigate ways to increase revenues for all types of university operations.