As of Wednesday, over 30,000 tickets have been sold for this Saturday's inaugural EagleBank Bowl in Washington D.C. according to the bowl's executive director, Steve Beck. The game's venue, RFK Stadium will be configured to seat 48,000 fans. Both Navy and Wake Forest have sold all of their allocated tickets, and bowl reps expect to see a spike in sales in the next two days.
Back in September at the press conference to unveil the EagleBank as the sponsor of Washington D.C.'s first bowl game, Navy Athletic Director Chet Gladchuck said that he was optimistic that Navy alone would be able to bring 30,000 fans to RFK Stadium. Well, there is still some work to be done to reach that goal, but both the Naval Academy and Wake Forest have fulfilled their obligations in regards to ticket sales. Navy was allocated 16,000 tickets and Wake Forest had 3,000 to sell.
According to Navy Sports Information Director Scott Strasemeier, the Mids have "reached the gaol of 16,000," and he expects that Navy will have at least 20,000 fans at the game. Meanwhile Wake Forest's SID Steve Shutt confirmed Wake had sold all of its 3,000 tickets and in fact had sold "significantly more" than that amount.
Beck also said in an email that they were "selling more (tickets) every day now."
Naval Academy officials confirmed to GoMids.com that about 700 midshipmen decided to put off starting their holiday break to attend the game this Saturday. Details regarding a march-on by the midshipmen prior to the game were still being worked out.
Although it is too early to tell how many fans will actually attend the game, if Navy delivers over 20,000 fans it would be a significant accomplishment considering the less than attractive match-up with the Demon Deacons, whom the Mids defeated 24-17 early this season. In fact, 20,000 fans would be in line with previous numbers for the Naval Academy in terms of bowl attendance. For both the 2005 and 2007 Poinsettia Bowls in San Diego, Navy had just over 20,000 fans travel to those games. In 2004, for the Emerald Bowl in San Francisco, Navy had 18,000 fans in attendance. The Mids did surprass that total for both the Houston Bowl in 2003 (25,000 fans), and the Meineke Car Care Bowl in 2006 (an estimated 30,000 fans).
Kick-off for the EagleBank Bowl is set for 11 a.m. and the game will be televised nationally on ESPN.