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Coming Off An 11-Win Season, Florida’s Swamp Still Hasn’t Sold Out

gfx - they said itIf you want a perfect example of how the American sports fan has changed his habits, look no further than the University of Florida.  The Gators were 11-2 last year.  They played in a BCS bowl.  They have a third-year coach who’s considered to be one of the nation’s fast-risers.  And they play in what for 20 years has been one of the most difficult gameday environments for opponents.

And with a month to go until football season, UF is still trying to sell out The Swamp.

Here’s what Florida associate AD Mike Hill had to say about the Gators’ last-minute sales push:


“We have a lot that is in the pipeline right now to try to make a final push before the first game on August 31st.  We feel great about the position that we’re in right now based on the numbers, but we still have more room to sell…

We’re hovering right around that 50, 51 (thousand) mark now so we’re closing in on that same number from a year ago, which is great.  We’re really please with that, but, that said, the job isn’t complete.”


You already know the reasons for declining ticket sales across the country:


*  The economy isn’t as strong as it once was.

*  Every game is now on television.

*  Those televised games are almost exclusively broadcast in high definition.

*  Ticket prices — as well as the cost of parking and concessions — have continued to rise.


Here’s another that impacts the SEC: stadium size.  The league has eight venues that can top the 80,000 mark in attendance.  They are buildings from a bygone age.  To sell out football games in massive stadiums today, a program had better be in the running for a national title.

Unfortunately, not even an 11-win campaign is enough to guarantee sell-outs in this era.



One problem is Florida fans expect national championships every year. They could hardly sell Sugar Bowl tickets, while Vanderbilt and Ole Miss sold out of their allotment easily.


I have seen this downward spiral coming concerning attendance....

Being an Auburn Fan, we surely had our run last year.  With everything continuing to cost more, eventually the impact will become more noticeable concerning attendance.  Actually, even if Auburn takes there game back up to where they normally are, I do NOT see Auburn expanding their stadium again.  I personally think it is large enough.  All Auburn needs to do now is keep up with the technology, and give the stadium that SLEEK appearance !!  Even later, they may decrease the number of seats, and put in even more comfortable seating.....!!

If things do not get better concerning our economy, then I believe this will become the norm...... 

I now can not afford the book and I am on staff......  I have been watching from home, and can hear the noise from home, since I live just blocks from campus.  There is nothing like digital, comfort at home, grilling out, and watching other games on the other TV sets I have at home......

LOVE AUBURN, but probably have bought my last book of tickets......too much confusion, and being pushed away from the stadium !!!!



you can also throw in the increasing number of fans who seem to believe it is their god-given right to make the experience of those around them as unpleasant as possible.  i called it quits after it became obvious that some of these fans take an obscene pleasure in standing for no more reason than it blocks the view of those behind them.   that's another thing i don't have to deal with at home. 


I think what you've listed are all contributing factors but there also seems to be something of a malaise surrounding the Gator fanbase currently.  We saw it in earnest in their BCS bowl against Louisville and it still seems to be hanging around.  I'm not sure if it's the lack of a consistent offense or if there's something about Muschamp that not everyone is buying yet but something is going on.  It could also just be a hangover from the recent golden era of Tebow and Meyer.


@GeoffDawg Most of us Gators are fans of Muschamp and are stoked about this team. Part of the problem is TV and the deal with ESPN. Florida's first game against Toledo is at 12:30pm. It's going to be hot. Real hot. Dangerously hot to some old folks. If it was an afternoon or night game, it would be an easy sell out. Also scheduling a cream puff like Georgia Southern at the end of the season after weeks of great SEC games is a let down. 


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