Texas Union Underground to see an increase in rates

Cassandra Jaramillo

UT students will pay 25 cents more for bowling at the Texas Union Underground if the University approves a rate increase later this month. 

The University Unions board met Jan. 29 and with a unanimous vote passed for a new 2016 rate structure. The Texas Union Underground, which offers bowling and billiards, has not seen its prices increase since at least 2007, according to Union Underground data. The twelve-lane bowling alley, built in the 1960s, is in need of facility improvements, board members said.

Jennifer Zamora, director of student programs at the University Unions, said she presented the proposal to streamline prices for bowling and help pay for lighting and electric features.  

“The way it was in the past, if you were bowling during the day, then it was $1.50, and then if you bowled at night, it was $2.00,” Zamora said. “Well, that makes it hard sometimes to communicate how much it is to come bowl.”

Glow Bowl, the Texas Union Underground’s blacklight bowling experience, will see prices increase 50 cents from $2.50 to $3.00 for UT students.

“If you wanted to do Glow Bowl and shoes, you’re still going to be able to do it for under $5,” Zamora said. “For us, it’s really important for the Union Underground to be an affordable place.” 

Texas Tuesdays will still be $1 for UT students. The largest increase to rate changes will apply to UT group reservation bowling, where groups of up to six people will pay $20 an hour instead of $17.

Mulugeta Ferede, executive director of University Unions and member of the board, said UT’s newly proposed rates were among the lowest in a survey of compatible bowling charges around town and at peer institutions.

“In all categories [of the survey], we came into the low part of it,” Ferede said. “I think the board felt it was a minimal price adjustment.”

Maryse Rodriguez, health and society sophomore, said as a fan of the Glow Bowling experience, she found the increase reasonable.

“I think the convenience of having a bowling alley on campus is nice,” Rodriguez said. “I would pay $3.00.” 

From 2014–2015, the Texas Union Underground saw 12,728 unit sales for regular bowling and 24,202 unit sales for Glow Bowl, Zamora said. Data on specific numbers of people who used the bowling alley was not available.

Samantha Grasso, a student voting member on the board and journalism senior, said there was no disagreement on whether the board should vote to raise rates.

“This 25 cent increase is going to do a lot to help the Union and not hurt the students too much,” Grasso said.

The resolution still awaits final approval, but Zamora said she expects implementation to begin no later than April 1 once passed.