Despite building a $288 million stadium and approving beer sales, Minnesota football has declined markedly in popularity. In just four years in TCF Bank Stadium, the Gophers have lost 80 percent of their student ticket base.
Student season-ticket sales have steadily dropped from 10,000 in the first year at the 50,800-seat TCF Bank Stadium, to 7,800 the second year to less than 6,000 last year. Now, with the team’s first home game on Sept. 8 less than a month away, roughly 2,000 student season tickets have been sold for the $288 million on-campus stadium that was seen as a key to rekindling passion and attendance after almost three decades in the Metrodome.
Putting this into perspective…the University of Minnesota has around 10,000 more students than the University of Michigan. Michigan sold more than ten times as many student tickets, with 21,715. Roughly 51 percent of the student body (undergraduate and postgraduate) at Michigan bought season tickets. At Minnesota? Just four percent.
The major reason seems to be that the teams have been terrible. Losing their first six home games, including the opener against FCS South Dakota in 2010 did not help. There were extenuating circumstances with Jerry Kill’s health last season, though home losses in September to New Mexico State and FCS North Dakota State can’t have helped matters either.
Bright side? There won’t be very many fans to riot if they lose to New Hampshire.
[Photo via Presswire]