Season Ticket Renewals Still Being Processed

This isn't exactly something Mississippi State has a prepared script for. "We're learning some of this on-the-job," agrees Mike Richey, speaking of the unprecedented demand for Bulldog football tickets. "But it's a good position to be in. And, it's fun!"

Fun, sure, but also a very busy time for the Mississippi State ticket office and Bulldog Club staff as they go through the last round of re-orders for season tickets. The deadline for renewals was over a week ago, and still staff are processing the final flurry of on-line and mail orders. Of course, Richey said, they expected both the late rush…and the increased requests.

The associate athletic director for development and Bulldog Club boss has kept track of updates as available since the deadline. "As of now, it looks like over 90% of season ticket holders (from 2010) have made their renewals," Richey reported. "We expect that figure to rise as we go through all the late orders that have not been processed, so we hope by next week to have a total."

The renewals Richey refers to are the standard season ducats, which were sold in all-time numbers of around 44,000 for the 2010 season. In fact, with 11,000 student tickets as well as faculty/staff tickets and special price packages, Mississippi State was able to sell-out Davis Wade Stadium entirely before the '10 season kicked off. Added to three packed house dates at the end of 2009, the first season for Coach Dan Mullen, and DWS goes into this year with a string of ten-straight home field sellouts.

Insuring such demand wouldn't merely maintain but explode, Mullen's 2010 Bulldogs rewarded the fans with a 9-4 season, a 4-4 SEC mark, and victories in both the Battle for the Golden Egg—again—and the Gator Bowl. Now the Bulldogs are not only riding that momentum, but the fans have extra incentive. The 2011 schedule brings the three leading rivalry games, with LSU, Alabama, and Ole Miss, back to campus. That more than offsets a six-home game slate. 2011 is also the last time State will not have at least seven home dates per fall.

With all these positive trends Mississippi State was easily able to set a May 2 renewal deadline, with the appropriate response. Not only that, the Ticket Office is receiving new season ticket orders from fans hopeful of finding an open seat or two. Or five or six.

"As of today, we have a waiting list of over 1,700 people," Richey said. "Not just 1,700 tickets, those are requests. It could be for as many as 5,000 tickets all told."

Needless to say that demand cannot be met at 55,082-seat D.W.S…never mind that official capacity has been exceeded eight times in just the last four seasons, including four games in 2010. But, Richey adds, fans who have placed first-time orders; or those who once were season-ticket holders who lapsed over the years; need not give up hope of watching the Bulldogs at home this fall.

All the renewals received are limited to the same number of tickets as held last year. While, obviously, many of the current seat holders have upped their own orders, Richey said their requests for extras will be treated like ‘new' orders. That is, prior-holder orders will be renewed in-total but any additional orders will have to be filled just as the new-waiting list.

Current holders will still have an edge based on Bulldog Club priority, of course. But Richey thinks there can be cases where fans who built up Club ‘points' years ago, then stopped ordering for a stretch, might retain enough old priority to rank ahead of some additional-request orders from, say, fans who have only been buying season tickets in recent years.

Relief for such waiting lists is a few years away, based on plans athletic director Scott Stricklin has released showing a renovated and expanded stadium. For now, though, demand will surely exceed capacity for 2011…and as Richey reminds, "This is a great situation for Mississippi State."

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