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Volume 24 No. 181

Colleges

New Univ. of Minnesota football coach P.J. Fleck "continues to draw national publicity for a program long overlooked," but so far, his hype has "yet to fill the maroon-and-gold coffers," according to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. UM has distributed "fewer than 40,000 tickets" for its Aug. 31 opener against Buffalo. That is "counting 5,000 freebies they annually give freshmen for the first game." Two years after "playing a full season to near-capacity crowds at TCF Bank Stadium, the athletic department is still struggling to refill the 9-year-old facility’s 50,805 seats." Fans are "taking a wait-and-see approach with Fleck." Since UM hired Fleck away from Western Michigan on Jan. 6, its "number of new season tickets sold is 1,430." Minnesota AD Mark Coyle "still sees that for what it is: growth." UM sold "just 660 new season tickets last year." Coyle: "If you look across the country, a lot of programs are struggling to sell new season tickets, and we have a 115 percent increase. So I’m very pleased with that." Christensen noted there were "no sellouts last season, and the Gophers failed to draw more than 45,000 for any game except Iowa." Coyle "scrapped another price increase for this year, which had been scheduled under former AD Norwood Teague." Coyle said that he "didn’t have exact numbers yet, but sales of Gophers T-shirts with Fleck’s 'Row the Boat' mantra have been brisk." Coyle added that it also is "hard to put an exact number on the impact Fleck’s hire has made on fundraising" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 8/20).

Paciolan and longtime partner StubHub have signed eight new collegiate partnerships and renewed 10 others, further bolstering an alliance in that space that began in ’10. The partnership merges Paciolan’s primary ticketing systems with StubHub’s resale marketplace, and has grown to 54 total participating schools. The new deals and renewals involve a wide variety of Power 5 and mid-major conference schools. “We see this as further proof of the kind of partnership that nobody else in the market can provide,” said StubHub GM/North America Perkins Miller. Similar to Paciolan’s and StubHub’s other clients in the pro ranks, the college deals contain a full suite of ticket transactional data. “The data, both from a lead perspective and learning where the demand trends truly lie, has become more important than ever,” said Paciolan President & CEO Kim Damron.

NEW SCHOOLS
RENEWED SCHOOLS
Cincinnati
Alabama
Houston
Colorado State
Memphis
Florida State
Northwestern
Georgia
Penn
Hawaii
Tulane
James Madison
Tulsa
Nebraska
Washington
Oklahoma
Pitt
West Virginia

Boston College will "expand the sale of beer and wine during football games this season," according to Julian Benbow of the BOSTON GLOBE. Once limited to suites and a tent next to Alumni Stadium, alcohol will "now be available at concession stands throughout the venue as part of a pilot program." New BC AD Martin Jarmond said, "One of my focuses when I took the job was to really engage with our fans in a way that we hadn't before in hopes to improve the fan experience and the game-day experience." Benbow noted prior to coming to BC, Jarmond was part of Ohio State's decision to "expand its alcohol sales last year." From his experience at OSU, Jarmond "believed the idea also would work at BC." Jarmond: "We're in a town where all the professional teams sell beer and wine. So these are some of our same fans that have that opportunities at other venues right here in town. So first and foremost it's consistent with our fan base as far as what they're able to do elsewhere." Benbow noted BC will join "more than 40 colleges across the country that offer alcohol at athletic venues." Jarmond said that BC "reached out to nearly all of them as they gathered information about implementation and safety" (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/19).

PARKING PASS: In Boston, Rich Thompson noted while beer and wine will now be sold, there is "less of something else fans tend to enjoy -- parking spots for tailgating." There will be "fewer parking spots for tailgating on Shea Field, with BC constructing a new indoor practice facility there." Jarmond "anticipates an overriding concern for fans will be game-day parking, a thorny issue that's grown more problematic by recent construction around Alumni Stadium." The school is "searching for solutions." Jarmond: "If you ask me about this after a few games I'll be able to give you a better answer." Thompson noted BC "hasn’t finalized a policy yet for when the school will cut off beer and wine sales." About a third of the major college programs offer beer and wine, with many "ending sales in the third quarter" (BOSTON HERALD, 8/19).