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Upbeat Ticket Sales for Gopher Football

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August 29, 2021

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A sellout crowd of 50,805 is anticipated at Huntington Bank Stadium for Thursday night’s season opening game against No. 4 ranked Ohio State. That information and more on Golden Gophers football ticket sales was provided recently by the University of Minnesota at the request of Sports Headliners.

Unlike past home openers, free tickets aren’t being given to first-year students to bolster attendance. Instead, a discounted ticket for all first and second-year students was offered for Thursday night’s game. However, free tickets are being offered to those students for the September 11 Miami (Ohio) game.

With season ticket sales on the rise and many single game buyers paying over $100 for a ticket, the September 2 game will be a much needed financial boost for the athletic department. The Gophers’ stadium, like others in college football, hasn’t hosted fans since 2019 because of the pandemic. The financial deficit in the U athletic department during the 2020-2021 school year is reportedly over $21 million. The department will borrow money from the central administration to cover the loss.

As of August 24 of this year 24,047 public season tickets had been sold. This total represents 7,383 accounts and doesn’t include student tickets.

In 2019 the public season tickets total was 21,664, with 6,605 accounts. The most public season tickets sold since the football program moved back to campus was 34,130 in the opening year of 2009.

As of August 24, 6,523 football student season tickets were sold. This compares with 3,388 in 2019.

The most student season tickets sold since the return to campus is 10,248 in 2009.

P.J. Fleck

Increased interest in Gophers football isn’t surprising. Coach P.J. Fleck’s team is expected to contend for the Big Ten’s West Division championship. The home schedule includes marquee games with traditional power Ohio State (Buckeyes haven’t been to Minneapolis since 2014) and border rival Wisconsin. Although the Gophers were 3-4 during the chaotic pandemic year of 2020, they were 11-2 the season prior and ranked among the better teams in the country.

Worth Noting

Michael Hsu, the former University of Minnesota regent, is developing a nationwide advocacy organization for the rights of college basketball players. He is also an advisory board member of the newly formed College Football Players Association.

In a Name, Image and Likeness deal involving a Gopher athlete, quarterback Tanner Morgan will provide free autographs from 7 to 8 p.m. at Fan HQ Ridgedale on Monday, September 20.

Minnesota Twins radio voice Cory Provus will call college football games for FS1 and BTN. Others with Minnesota connections who will have various roles with BTN football are James Laurinaitis, Annie Sabo and Brock Vereen.

In their final preseason game Friday night the Minnesota Vikings saw the 2021 gold standard in NFL head coaches, Andy Reid of the Kansas City Chiefs. Others considered top 10 head coaches include the Green Bay Packers’ Matt LaFleur and former Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski who leads the Cleveland Browns.

VSA Auction items for bid through September 2 include a 1974 Minnesota Vikings NFC Championship player ring. The current high bid is $14,000.

The Miami Marlins, whose top prospects include former Gopher pitcher Max Meyer, have the No. 3 farm system, per MLB.com. The Twins rank No. 15 among the list of 30 organizations, with the Baltimore Orioles No. 1.

The Twins, headed for their worst season record since 59-102 in 2016, have only four pitchers (Jorge Alcala, Alex Colome, Tyler Duffey, Caleb Thielbar) on their active pitching roster who were with the club on opening day.

The Gopher baseball team’s fall schedule opens September 7 and ends October 2. Included are intra-squad scrimmages, and home games against St. Thomas (Sept. 17), Concordia, St. Paul (Sept. 24) and the alumni (Oct. 2).

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David Shama

David Shama is a former sports editor and columnist with local publications. His writing and reporting experiences include covering the Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Gophers. Shama’s career experiences also include sports marketing. He is the former Marketing Director of the Minnesota North Stars of the NHL. He is also the former Marketing Director of the United States Tennis Association’s Northern Section. A native of Minneapolis, Shama has been part of the community his entire life. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota where he majored in journalism. He also has a Master’s degree in education from the University of St. Thomas. He was a member of the Governor’s NBA’s Task Force to help create interest in bringing pro basketball to town in the 1980s.

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