The University of Maine on Wednesday announced it is significantly changing its pricing structure for both single-game and season membership ticket prices for men’s hockey games at Alfond Arena. The changes which will take effect beginning next season.

Across the board, single-game ticket prices for Black Bear games have been slashed between 30-33 percent for seats on game days. While there will no longer be $50 seats — which were the most expensive single-game ticket price for any sport in the state of Maine, either college or professional — the most noteworthy change comes to Maine’s least expensive seats. Down from $24 per ticket, they will now be $16, a decrease of $8 per ticket.

“It’s clear a $50 single-game ticket is unreasonable in this market,” UMaine athletic director Ken Ralph said in a statement released by the school. “We do not want price to be a limiting factor in enjoying Division I hockey. We all want to get back to filling the Alfond with passionate, knowledgeable and enthusiastic Black Bear fans.”

Where Maine hockey tickets were once 33 percent more expensive, they are now $2 apiece less than comparable single-game tickets for the Maine Mariners. The Mariners, based in Portland, play in the ECHL, a professional minor league.

This season, average attendance for UMaine hockey plunged to its lowest level since prior to the program’s first national championship in 1993. An average of just 3,793 fans attended games this season at Alfond.

In a recent story looking back at the 20th anniversary of UMaine’s last national hockey championship, hockey fans in the area cited ticket prices as one of the reasons interest in the team had declined.

“This year, it was hard to justify it,” Sidney’s Ryan Sweeney said of hockey ticket prices in that story. “There seems to be a real disconnect between the product and the tickets (prices).”

Single-game tickets are not the only ones receiving new pricing.

Season ticket prices have been reduced by an average of $75 per seat. The least expensive season tickets will now cost $215 per seat, while the most expensive ones are $600 each.

The university has set a goal of selling 1,500 season tickets for the 2019-20 campaign.

“This is an effort to provide greater access to Black Bear hockey for all fans,” Ralph said.

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC

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