SBD/February 26, 2014/Colleges

UF Looking At Ways To Get More Students To Attend Football Games

UF officials said the ticket scan rate for students this past season was 70%
Univ. of Florida officials are hoping to keep last season's trend that saw the student section "vacant or only partially filled just before kickoff ... from mushrooming into a student tradition," according to Robbie Andreu of the GAINESVILLE SUN. Selling student tickets "has not been, and is still not, a problem at UF." UF Exec Associate AD/External Affairs Mike Hill said that student tickets have "sold out every season for the 21 years he's been at Florida, and he expects that to be the case again" in '14. However, the school's ticket office said that the "ticket scan rate for students this past season" was only 70%. With a 5-10% adjustment for "tickets that do not scan," it turns out 75-80% of student tickets are being used. That ends up being "somewhere in the neighborhood of 5,000 empty seats per game in the student section." The fact many "potential future season-ticket purchasers are electing not to attend games while they are students" may not "bode well for future attendance." Hill: "It's absolutely crucial to sustain our fan base. Our average season-ticket holder is just under 60 years old. That's evidence right there that it's crucial for us to cultivate that young fan base." Andreu noted UF officials have learned from student feedback that they "do not like the early kickoffs (noon and 12:20)." Hill said that the school is "having discussions with the SEC and its television partners about scheduling Gator games later in the day or at night, especially early in the season." He added that school officials are "exploring the possibility of establishing WiFi capability" at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium (GAINESVILLE SUN, 2/24).
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