Football season tickets are being sold at a pretty good rate, according to AD Greg Byrne. He couldn't provide me with a specific figure, but he said sales are ahead of what they were this time last year, when State was coming off a Liberty Bowl win. "We’ve been very pleased with our fans’ response, especially considering the economy," he said. "People have been pleased by Coach (Dan) Mullen and what he’s bringing to the table for our football program."
As with any coaching change, there's going to be some excitement and an increase in ticket sales. Methinks Mullen's ability to sell both himself and his vision has helped even further.
"We certainly have sold some new season tickets," Byrne said. "To be honest with you, with the economy (struggling), if you can maintain and grow a little bit on top of that, you can be successful. And we’re on pace to do that."
Can State sell out its season ticket packages? Scott Stricklin, associate AD for external affairs, said doing that would mean selling 38,000 to 40,000 packages. "I think we’ll have a good number this year. I think we’ll be the mid-to-upper 30s," said Stricklin, who added that MSU sold about 26,000 packages last year.
MSU capitalized on Mullen's hiring by sending out renewal applications around National Signing Day in February, a couple of months earlier than normal. That makes it hard for Stricklin to project what the final total will be, but one figure that can be quantified in context is the number of pledges that are made in conjunction with season ticket purchases.
"We’re probably 10-15 percent ahead financially on donations coming in this year than this time last year," he said. Given the current state of the economy, I'd say that's pretty remarkable. But as Stricklin pointed out, this is the South we're talking about.
"Even though it’s expendable income, in this part of the country, college football is probably going to be the last entertainment dollar (families) eliminate from their budget. They may cut out vacation, but they’re going to keep their football season tickets."
Bulldog Club members need to buy their packages by 5 p.m. today if they want their pledges to count toward such things as priority parking and seat change requests. The deadline for everyone is May 15.