UC announced recently that they have sold 20,000 season tickets for the coming Football Season. That means that the already high probability of the entire season selling out, just nudged a little bit closer to fruition. Its not official, but is getting very, very close. Unsurprisingly there are quite a few miserable little shits out there trying to piss in everyone’s cornflakes about this. The argument that has the most traction with the “I hate the world and and to make everyone as miserable as I am” crowd is that tickets aren’t selling fast enough, which is of course utterly ridiculous. This is a quote from the discussion on this topic on the Bearcat Banter board that succinctly sums up the “miserable little shit” crowd for lack of a better term.
I’m happy with the 20,000. I just don’t feel that given our recent successes, not to mention the attractiveness of our high scoring offense and the great players we have been producing (Connor Barwin, Mike Mickens, Kevin Huber, Tony Pike, Mardy Gilyard, Isaiah Pead, Zach Collaros, Dominick Goodman, Terrell Byrd, Armon Binns, Trent Cole, et al) that 20,000 merely demonstrates that we still have a long way to go to get this program where we all want it to be. What would Louisville’s season ticket base be if they had won back-to-back Big East championships? What about Syracuse? What about Pittsburgh? Yes we are making progress, but there is no excuse, in my opinion, why this season is not already sold out and there will be no excuse if the Oklahoma game is not sold out. Yet I’d guess that the Oklahoma game will have only 45-50,000 in attendance. Hope I’m wrong.
That is an industrial strength concentration of stupidity and twatishness. For a start, in any given game at Nippert there roughly 23,000 seats available to season ticket holders and the general public. The rest are presumed sold by the athletic department, tickets to the opposing team, visiting recruits, players and coaches families and the student section comprise the other 12,000 seats in the stadium and a presumed taken by the athletic department until those tickets are returned to UC. So, before the athletic department puts single game tickets on sale in a little more than a week they have less than 3,000 to work with for each game.
As for Louisville, Pitt or Syracuse and how many season tickets they would have after back to back Big East Titles and BCS games. The truthful answer to the question would be that they would in all likelihood have more season ticket holders, but that isn’t really the point not to me anyway. They have larger stadiums, more season ticket spots available and most importantly large and long established season ticket base. By the simple rules of math and economics yeah, they would, and with the possible exception of Syracuse probably do have larger season ticket bases right now.
The main point is that UC now has a sizable, vibrant and passionate season ticket base for Football. For Football, when in 2005 purchasing Basketball season tickets meant buying Football season tickets. In 2006 the effective season ticket base for Football was essentially naught. Then to go from a season ticket base of essentially zero to 20,000 in just 5 years is a phenomenal rate of growth, that is a growth rate that would make Beijing blush, and possibly put their leading economic minds to the sword. The people who maintain the view that the athletic department isn’t doing a good enough job in terms of growing the program are, in no uncertain terms, idiots.
It is very easy to look at the results on the field, three straight 10 win seasons, three straight finishes in the top 17 of the AP poll, back to back Big East championships all these accomplishments the past few years and then to hear the season ticket totals and think “well this isn’t enough.” UC has proven it is one of the top programs in the country,” “the results speak for themselves,” UC has a large and dedicated following that has proven itself on the biggest stage.” On the field UC has staked and validated its claim as one of the top Football programs in the country. But the honest truth is that UC has vastly exceeded expectations on the field by overcoming many of the limitations off it. UC doesn’t have many built in advantages, outside of being located in the heart of one of the deepest talent pools in the country and being in a BCS conference it is hard to think of any. But building up the season ticket base UC is in a position to solidify, and enhance the position, currently held, which has been so hard won. Thats the point that most UC fans are missing in the midst of this announcement. There were real, genuine fears in the wake of Brian Kelly’s exit that he was larger than the program, and that the Football program would go back from whence it came sans Kelly. I think it is pretty safe to put most of those fears to bed, the program off the field is as strong now under Jones as it was under Kelly. On the field? Who really knows at this point, but UC fans have made a pretty damned impressive statement so far.