Indiana football fans are willing to look the other way after a 2021 season that came nowhere near their lofty expectations.
Director of Athletics Scott Dolson said on Monday that student season ticket sales have increased by 10 percent, and regular season ticket holders have renewed at encouraging rates.
It won’t be a capacity crowd, but IU is expecting the season opener against Illinois (Friday, 8 p.m. Eastern) to be well attended.
“I couldn’t be more excited coming into Friday night,” Dolson said. “The renewal rate, coming off a huge year last year, didn’t know where we’d be, but was really pleasantly surprised at how the season ticket base came back, and with the students up over 10 percent was a big deal.”
Dolson said the season ticket renewal rate is “right at 98 percent” year-over-year after substantial growth in the base leading up to the highly anticipated 2021 season.
In total Dolson said football season ticket sales account for about half of Memorial Stadium’s capacity of 52,000, meaning the department relies heavily on student and single-game sales to fill the venue.
For the opener against Illinois, Dolson says the school is anticipating a crowd in the 40,000 to 45,000 range.
“We expect this Friday night to be in the low 40s, and then grow from there,” Dolson said. “I think sometimes our football fans take some criticism, but our fans are as loyal as they come. This year’s (ticket sales) results are a real indication of that.”
Indiana averaged paid attendance of 46,925 a year ago for its six home games, although actual attendance plummeted late in the season. The Hoosiers sold out games against Cincinnati and Ohio State.
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