SBD/August 21, 2012/Colleges

Univ. Of Oregon's 13-Year Sellout Streak In Jeopardy As Season Opener Nears

About 5,000 tickets remain for Oregon's season opener on Sept. 1
The Univ. of Oregon football team’s 13-year sellout streak at Autzen Stadium "could come to a surprising end," according to Adam Jude of the Portland OREGONIAN. As of Friday morning, “about 5,000 tickets remained for the Ducks' season opener against Arkansas State on Sept. 1, leaving UO officials scrambling for a quick way to promote one of the most marketable teams in college football.” The school in March announced that it “was raising ticket prices for the fifth year in a row.” Oregon reported that season-ticket renewals surpassed 90% this year, with "more than 40,000 season tickets sold.” But that is “a drop" from a 96% renewal rate in '11. Jude noted the team's “underwhelming nonconference slate, in addition to the raised ticket prices in a still-sluggish economy, seems to have turned some fans off.” Another factor is the fact that UO's fall term classes "don't start until late September, meaning most students will not be back on campus for the Sept. 1 opener.” That has left “several thousand tickets allotted for students available for the public to purchase” (Portland OREGONIAN, 8/18). In Arizona, Greg Hansen writes, “If tickets aren’t selling in Eugene, everyone in the league should be concerned.” USC averaged “just 74,806 last season, down almost 15,000 from the Pete Carroll glory days.” Arizona State will “soon abandon its effort to fill 71,000 seats at Your-Name-Here Stadium, decreasing capacity by perhaps 15,000.” ASU has “averaged just 48,556, 47,942 and 59,004 the last three seasons.” Univ. of Arizona, on the other hand, has been “so aggressive in attempt to sell football tickets (and change its image) that on Saturday it dispatched [coach Rich Rodriguez] and 11 players on a caravan, door-to-door, rewarding old-line fans with hand-delivered ducats” (ARIZONA DAILY STAR, 8/21).
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