CU, CSU sell more season tickets
The state bucked a national trend of declining Football Bowl Subdivision game attendance last fall, and with less than 40 days left until the 2017 season begins, the University of Colorado and Colorado State are riding waves of increased season-ticket sales.
As of Friday afternoon, CU had sold 19,353 season tickets (a boost of 1,342 from 2016) and CSU had sold more than 17,000 (an increase of more than 3,000). The collective jump continues a trend of increased fan attendance for each football program.
According to the NCAA, CU and CSU ranked among the top 25 nationally in 2016 for largest gains in average home attendance — CU was No. 7 (plus-7,220) and CSU was No. 25 (plus-2,683). Meanwhile, according to CBS Sports, the average FBS crowd declined nationally for a sixth consecutive season and was again the lowest average since 2000.
Last fall, CU averaged 46,609 fans per home game. CSU averaged 27,600. If 2017 season-ticket sales at the schools are an indication, those figures are projected to rise once again, thanks to several factors.
The Buffaloes won 10 games for the first time since 2001, and the program that hadn’t sold out a home game dating back eight seasons finally packed the house to watch CU win the 2016 Pac-12 South championship. This year, CU has sold out two of its club sections in the south end zone at Folsom Field for the first time and renewed 98 percent of its 2016 season-ticket holders.
“The fan excitement and that energy when the team is coming off a winning year after 10 years of not winning has just been tremendous,” said Matt Biggers, CU’s associate athletic director of external affairs and chief marketing officer. “People are really excited to get on board.”
CSU’s nearly completed oncampus stadium is sold out of sea-
son tickets for its luxury suites, loge boxes and priority west stands seating. Add-ons for the New Belgium Porch in the north end zone and the Orthopedic & Spine Center of the Rockies field club behind the Rams’ bench also are sold out.
The Rams, fresh off consecutive 7-6 seasons, broke what’s believed to be their program season-ticket sales record (12,000 in 1998).
“We went through a process in the spring and transitioned everyone that was a season-ticket holder in (2016) into the (new) stadium through a seatselection process that was very successful,” CSU athletic director Joe Parker said Tuesday. “We continued our sales of new season tickets, and as we stand today, we’re at more than 14,000 season tickets.”
Late July marks the final push for ticket offices across the nation to fill season-ticket orders. At its peak, Folsom Field averaged 52,098 fans per game in 1996. The most fans Hughes Stadium averaged was 31,224 in 1994, an easily broken record with just one sellout at the new Sonny Lubick Field.
There’s only one constant should CU and CSU aim for a return to 1990s-esque crowds. Just win.
“You don’t want to be at a place where there is minimal pressure or minimal expectations,” CSU coach Mike Bobo said. “It’s a big responsibility moving into this stadium and this facility. We talk about it all the time, that we’ve got to earn the right to come out here and play and represent Colorado State.”