Gophers football student-section forecast: More, but still not many

  • Article by: MIKE KASZUBA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 27, 2014 - 1:00 AM

Even with modest increases, the Gophers still battle student apathy.

hide

Fans before Gophers vs. UNLV in the season opener at TCF Bank Stadium last season.

Photo: Renee Jones Schneider, DML - Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

There is some good news for the University of Minnesota, which is trying to find ways to fill the empty seats in the student section at TCF Bank Stadium.

In the continuing struggle to address student apathy toward football — and with the Gophers’ season starting with a home game Thursday — the school announced it has sold 1,647 football-only student season tickets so far, a modest increase from the 919 sold at this point a year ago. The total still is down from the 1,787 sold at this point two years ago, and the 2,754 sold by late August 2011. The school, however, has had some additional success by pairing student season tickets for football with those for men’s basketball and hockey — bringing the overall total for student football season tickets as of Monday to 5,043 and counting.

Overall season- tickets sales for football also are slightly improved: So far 33,385 have been sold, compared with 32,383 at this time a year ago. School officials reported that, in just a three-day period ending Monday, they had sold 357 more season tickets.

With more than 30,000 undergraduate students expected on campus this fall, school officials have conceded that it remains a challenge to get more students to go to games at the school’s five-year-old, on-campus stadium and that large rows of empty student-section seats have become an all-too-familiar sight.

Student season tickets for football remain a relative bargain, costing $90 for seven home games. A student season-ticket package that includes football and men’s basketball and hockey costs $258.

The problem for school officials can be found in the attitude of Grady Bell, a junior from White Bear Lake majoring in chemistry.

“I’d love to go, but I have a lot of commitments just as any other college student,” he said. “To be honest, we’re not that good of a team.”

But “my reservations about going to the games has diminished somewhat,” Bell added. “More and more people are saying, ‘Hey, did you hear how the Gophers did?’ ”

There also was some hope with Evan Carlson, who said his girlfriend had just bought student season football tickets.

“I’ll be watching a few of the games,” said Carlson, who sat on campus last week and wore a maroon T-shirt with M-I-N-N-E-S-O-T-A in large gold letters. Up until now, said Carlson, his attitude has been that “I’ll watch it if it’s on, but I’m not going out of my way to see it.”

Kevin Nance, a junior and anthropology major at the school this fall, said however he never has warmed to college football.

“On campus, it just seems [like] an excuse to get really drunk,” he said.

School officials have tried to address the student-ticket problem, announcing that beginning this year unsold student season tickets would be more readily available to the general public. The new policy, according to the school, still would guarantee that a minimum of 6,000 student tickets would be available for each home game at the 50,000-seat stadium.

The sales success is most evident in the multisports ticket packages available to students.

A school spokesman said last week that one Maroon Membership season-ticket package, which includes full football season tickets and some men’s hockey tickets, already had been bought by 904 students so far this year, compared with 422 a year ago when it was first introduced.

As of last week the school said 4,565 students had so far this year chosen the football-only season package or one of five other student season-ticket packages — most combining football tickets with those for either men’s basketball or men’s hockey. Barely 3,000 students had done so at the same point a year ago, the school said.

The student football season-ticket sales have increased by almost 500 in the past week.

  • related content

  • Gophers running back David Cobb has come a long way in a year

    Wednesday August 27, 2014

    The Gophers listed two tailbacks on their official depth chart heading into last year’s season opener against UNLV. David Cobb wasn’t one of them.

  • Burly, blue-collar Big Ten West is wide open

    Wednesday August 27, 2014

    Physical play, a strong running game and a stout defense likely will prevail in this wide-open division.

  • Big Ten West Division story lines

    Wednesday August 27, 2014

    1 The Tone SetterWisconsin plays LSU on Saturday at Houston’s Reliant Stadium. LSU lost eight players to the NFL but...

  • Gophers football fans cheered as Air Force kicked the ball off on the first play of the outdoor era at the U of M at the new TCF Bank Stadium.

  • A ribbon of sunlight warmed fans in the lower seating area during the game against Wisconsin Badgers at TCF Bank Stadium last November. Wisconsin won the game 20-7.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Los Angeles - LP: B. Wilson 7 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Grimm 8
Detroit - WP: M. Scherzer 3 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Shields 2
Philadelphia 0 Bottom 4th Inning
Oakland 0
Toronto 1 Bottom 4th Inning
NY Yankees 1
Arizona 0 Top 4th Inning
Colorado 4
Boston - R. De La Rosa 6:05 PM
Baltimore - C. Tillman
Milwaukee - M. Garza 6:05 PM
Pittsburgh - E. Volquez
Washington - J. Zimmermann 6:10 PM
Miami - J. Cosart
NY Mets - J. Niese 6:10 PM
Atlanta - M. Minor
Chicago WSox - H. Noesi 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - C. Archer
Cleveland - T. House 6:10 PM
Minnesota - T. May
Seattle - C. Young 6:10 PM
Houston - D. Keuchel
Cincinnati - M. Leake 6:15 PM
St. Louis - M. Wacha
San Francisco - Y. Petit 7:40 PM
San Diego - A. Cashner
Texas - C. Lewis 8:05 PM
LA Angels - J. Weaver
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Connecticut 14 FINAL
So Florida 17
Old Dominion 45 FINAL
Rice 42
Troy 0 FINAL
(13) Georgia 66
Georgia Tech 27 FINAL
Virginia Tech 24
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
(11) Michigan State 73
Iowa 24 FINAL
Pittsburgh 20
Bowling Green 17 FINAL
(19) Wisconsin 68
Maryland 34 FINAL
Syracuse 20
Tulane 13 FINAL
Duke 47
Hawaii 12 4th Qtr 5:06
Colorado 21
Marshall 41 4th Qtr 8:03
Akron 10
Army 21 3rd Qtr
Wake Forest 14
Virginia 16 3rd Qtr
(21) BYU 13
(6) Texas A&M 38 3rd Qtr
SMU 3
Rutgers 24 3rd Qtr
Navy 14
Central Mich 3 3rd Qtr
Kansas 7
Utah 13 3rd Qtr
Michigan 10
North Carolina 20 2nd Qtr 4:30
East Carolina 21
Florida 14 2nd Qtr 5:34
(3) Alabama 21
Louisville 7 1st Qtr 2:38
FIU 0
Texas State 14 Delayed 13:35
Illinois 6
Fla Atlantic 3 2nd Qtr 2:52
Wyoming 10
Indiana 14 2nd Qtr 6:50
(18) Missouri 14
San Jose St 7 2nd Qtr 0:40
Minnesota 10
Massachusetts 0 2nd Qtr 4:45
Penn State 20
Georgia State 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:00 AM
NC State
Duke 9/27/14 2:00 AM
Miami-Florida
North Carolina 9/27/14 2:00 AM
(22) Clemson
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(20) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(23) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
(18) Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(14) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(8) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(9) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(17) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Vancouver FC 4:00 PM
Portland
Houston 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
New England 6:30 PM
Columbus
San Jose 6:30 PM
Montreal
Seattle 6:30 PM
Red Bull New York
D.C. 7:30 PM
Chicago
FC Dallas 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.
Sep 27 - at Michigan TBA
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern TBA
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 am
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 am
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa TBA
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State TBA
Nov 22 - at Nebraska TBA
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin TBA

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings and Gophers do this weekend?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close