By Chucky Colin
Despite the LSU Tigers finishing the 2014 regular season with an overall record of 8-4, ticket sales and fan support did not waver. The 2014 season marks only the third time during Les Miles’ tenure that the Tigers will not win at least 10 games.
According to Brian Broussard, an associate athletic director and head of ticket sales and operations, this is the second highest year ever in terms of tickets sold ever.
The only season that generated more ticket sales was the 2011 season, in which the Tigers were undefeated during the regular season. The Tigers finished 13-1 with their loss coming against SEC West foe Alabama in the national championship game.
Ticket sales increased with the new seating available with the expansion to Tiger Stadium. All premium seating, which includes the club and suite levels, sold out. According to LSUsports.net, the capacity of Tiger Stadium prior to the expansion was 92,560.
That would currently rank as the ninth largest in college football in terms of capacity. Tiger Stadium’s current capacity is 102,321 which ranks, as fifth largest in terms of capacity.
Although there were more seats to fill, the attendance and overall capacity increased. The average attendance for a LSU Tiger football during the 2014 season was 101,723, which is 99.4 percent of capacity. For the previous season the average attendance was at 98.8 percent of capacity, which is approximately 91,500 people.
With the expansion and high attendance rates LSU generated nearly $30 million in ticket sales. Although a large number of tickets are sold they are distributed in a specific way.
Fourteen percent of tickets are sold to students (Approximately 53 percent in relation to the size of the student body.). Approximately seven percent of all tickets are designated for visitor seating, while the remaining 79 percent of seats are for season ticket sales, recruiting, football player families usage, coaches, etc.
Ticket prices are determined by many variables, which include the opponent, day of the game, prices of games from schools within the SEC and throughout the nation.
Ticket sales can not be projected for next season. The impact that the 2014 season will have on 2015 season ticket sales can not be foreseen at this time.
As for the Tigers 2014 bowl game, they will be facing the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7-5) in the Music City Bowl. The game will be played in Nashville, Tennessee.
The Tigers come into this game off of a previous bowl victory in which they defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes in the 2014 Outback Bowl. That game was played in Tampa, Florida.
Despite LSU having a better record in 2013, it has already sold more tickets for the Music City Bowl versus Notre Dame than for the Outback Bowl.
“Both are great cities, but the history and name recognition Notre Dame brings far outweighs anything else,” Broussard said.