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August 30, 2013

Auburn football: Season ticket sales down 4.7 percent compared to last year

BY RYAN BLACK | rblack@ledger-enquirer.com

@wareagleextra | Like the blog on Facebook

AUBURN, Ala. — Everybody loves a winner.

That’s what Jay Jacobs is banking on, anyway. Auburn’s athletic director said Thursday that the school’s ticket sales are down 4.7 percent compared to the same point last year. The Tigers’ average attendance was 82,646 per game last season, its lowest mark since 2000.

Auburn's season ticket sales are down 4.7 percent compared to this point last year. The Tigers averaged 82,646 fans per game in 2012, its lowest mark since 2000. (File photo)

Auburn’s season ticket sales are down 4.7 percent compared to this point last year. The Tigers averaged 82,646 fans per game in 2012, its lowest mark since 2000. (File photo)

But if Auburn starts to turn things around after its 3-9 showing in 2012, Jacobs believes that number will start to trend upward again.

“Why would you want to pay a TUF (Tigers Unlimited Fund) and the price of the ticket if you know you can walk out on the street and get them?” he said. “ … We certainly expect if we’re successful on the field Saturday, we’ll probably end up selling out.”

The 4.7 percent decrease in tickets sales adds up to about $600,000 in lost revenue. Jacobs mentioned the Tigers are “at an all-time high” with premium seats. It’s the low-level tickets in each of the end zones that the Tigers are having a hard time selling.

Auburn is far from the only school dealing with a drop in attendance, though. Jacobs is a member of a committee — and one of two athletic directors — that meets with ESPN every quarter to discuss how to combat declining attendance. ESPN repeatedly expresses its feelings on the matter: obviously it cares, Jacobs said, since they want to broadcast games with sold-out stadiums.

“It’s something we talk about all the time,” he said. “What is it we can do to enhance the game day experience and get people to come to campus? Even though ESPN and the SEC TV (network) is going to generate some revenue for us, having the game on campus with a sold-out house is what college football is all about.”

The advances in technology and the ever-increasing popularity of social media have made it easier for people to stay at home and watch games on high-definition televisions.

Getting more fans to attend games is the main reason prices have remained the last two years, Jacobs said, one of the many actions Auburn has taken to try to improve game day experience.

“That’s why we (have) got to keep adding parking places,” Jacobs said. “We’re (still) not where we need to be. That’s why we’re going to have a movie Friday night at the baseball field. That’s why we’re having a lunch Friday with (head football coach) Gus (Malzahn). That’s why we’re opening up our locker room, just to make it more value added so you don’t just sit at home and watch it on television. You come to campus.”

5 Comments

  1. Gee, Jay, why don’t you try LOWERING THE (DARN) PRICE? When it costs nearly $400 to take your kids to a game–not counting the TUF extortion–is it really surprising that people don’t go?

    Comment by B Futt — August 30, 2013 @ 12:08 pm

  2. BF: I know you understand why I had to (slightly) alter your comment. We’re a family-friendly company, after all.

    Your outrage is understandable, though. Thanks for reading. –RB

    Comment by Ryan Black — August 30, 2013 @ 12:11 pm

  3. BF is right though. We’ll be there this weekend but once you get to SEC play them ticket prices start getting rough. I know it’s capitalism and all but Jacobs is right, once Auburn starts winning, them tickets will start selling like hotcakes again, it’s just how it goes….

    still at least it’s not the NFL. Now that’s some ridiculous pricing there.

    WDE

    Comment by WDErwin — August 30, 2013 @ 12:55 pm

  4. Try paying 200 dollars for a family to see the Braves and that is one of about 160 games played. At least in College football you only have 5 or 6 homes games.

    Try parking places.

    Comment by wt — August 30, 2013 @ 3:17 pm

  5. Prices are too high and the out of conference games are embarrassingly bad. When tickets are being sold for $10(or actually being given away) outside the stadium, there’s a problem.

    Comment by mark — August 30, 2013 @ 10:57 pm

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