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Slow student-ticket sales not a cause for concern

BY IAN MURPHY | MAY 09, 2014 5:00 AM

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Slower football season-ticket sales are not a cause for concern, especially coming off last year’s performance, according to Athletics Department officials.

Rick Klatt, the associate athletics director for external relations, said he anticipates last year’s team performance — including an appearance in the Outback Bowl and a winning season — means a jump in sales should be coming.

He said ticket sales were over 600 as of Wednesday — a number the department hit in late April last year.

Since 2005, a winning season has produced higher football ticket sales for the next season three times, according to ticket data provided by the Athletics Department — with more tickets sold in 2009 following a 9-4 season, in 2010 after a 11-2 season, and 2011 following an 8-5 season.

“We’re in a much better place in terms of expectations for the team,” Klatt said. “I think that will translate to additional ticket sales.”

Klatt said freshmen and sophomores traditionally buy more tickets than their upperclassman counterparts, and he said more of the current freshman and sophomore classes will purchase tickets than those classes have in the past because of last year’s success.

“While our total number of student tickets sold last year was down, our freshman class number was as strong as it has ever been,” Klatt said.

He said many incoming students will buy football tickets when they are on campus over the summer for their Orientations.

However, students should not wait long to buy their tickets, because leftover tickets will be sold to the public on Aug 1, before students get back to campus. Student tickets have been on sale since March 1.

“You could show up on Aug. 15, and we’ll be out of tickets,” Klatt said. “We do anticipate strong demand from the general public.”

The University of Illinois is seeing a similar trend but in the opposite direction, said an Illini Athletics Department official.

Kent Brown, the associate athletics director for media relations at Illinois, said team success is the biggest driver of ticket sales at the university. The football team went 4-8 last season.

“We’re coming off a couple of challenging seasons,” Brown said. “We have a number of student tickets to sell.” 

Additionally, he said, the school sells many of its tickets to incoming freshmen while they are on campus for summer programming, similar to the University of Iowa.

Some UI students said they have forgotten to purchase tickets for next season but are still planning on doing so.   

Freshman Andrew Watson said he plans to buy his tickets over the summer, and as far as the team goes, he has high hopes.

“I think they’ll be pretty good,” He said. “Hopefully, at least a nine-win season.”

Klatt said he hopes to see the 10,431 student-section seats in Kinnick full of students, who he said are a big factor in the outcome of games.

“They’re the group of people in … Kinnick that can really turn the momentum in the favor of the good guys in black and gold,” Klatt said. “Part of the experience of attending the University of Iowa is participating in football Saturdays.”


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