Gopher Ticket Sales Make Big Jump
Sellout crowds are likely in the coming months for Gophers men’s basketball at 14,625-seat Williams Arena. Based on figures provided to Sports Headliners by the University of Minnesota athletic department, public and student season ticket sales have increased significantly.
Public season tickets, including 965 new tickets, totaled 7,102 as of late October, according to an email from the University. Those totals compared to figures of 208 and 6,192 on October 25, 2016. The renewal rate for the coming season was 97.7 percent compared with 82.7 twelve months prior.
Student season ticket sales were 2,182 as of October 25, after totaling 1,181 on the same date in 2016. The 2,182 figure represents the total inventory made available to University students.
Minnesota ranked 11th in average attendance last season in the 14-member Big Ten Conference. The Gophers averaged 10,308 fans per game and ranked No. 37 in the nation. Home attendance has been mediocre for years and annual averages contrast sharply with decades ago when Minnesota was a Big Ten and national leader.
With 9,284 season ticket holders (and more could be added in the weeks ahead), the Gophers will have about 5,300 tickets available to single game buyers for each home game. Minnesota opens its nonconference schedule at Williams Arena on Friday against USC Update, and most November and December games are unlikely to sell out because of unattractive opponents.
However, capacity home games before January 1 could include the November 29 Big Ten/ACC Challenge game against Miami and the December 3 Big Ten opener with Rutgers. Home conference games after January 1 could all sell out with the most likely to be Indiana, Iowa, Michigan State, Northwestern and Purdue. (The Gophers are playing their Ohio State home game January 20 in New York’s Madison Square Garden.)
In recent seasons sellout crowds have been the exception at Williams Arena but the Gophers are returning all but one of their key players from the 2017 NCAA Tournament team and have received more offseason hype than any Minnesota team this century. The Gophers have been ranked as high as No. 10 in the country, and last week the Associated Press poll had Minnesota at No. 15 (second among Big Ten teams only to No. 2 Michigan State). S.I.com, though, is more cautious ranking Minnesota No. 26 last week.
The University of Minnesota athletic department reported a decline in women’s basketball public season tickets as of October 25. The total of 1,344 compared to 1,492 a year prior, according to an email from the University. There were 43 new public season tickets sold for the 2017-2018 season, versus 61 sold as of October 25, 2016.
Students are admitted free to women’s basketball games, so there are no student season ticket sales to report.
As of yesterday, tickets ($10 each) were still available for today’s exhibition game between the Gopher men’s team and Green Bay at Maturi Pavilion. All seats are general admission and tickets will be sold at the pavilion starting at 11 a.m.
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