WSU getting creative on ticket sales

SEASON TICKETS SALES at Washington State are down compared to last year but they’re up vs. 2013 numbers – and ’13 is the more relevant comparison, WSU’s Paul Finn tells CF.C. Also, the later game times are great for the TV networks but not always so great for fans. Finn and WSU have come up with a creative solution, so creative that other schools are calling and asking, ‘How did you do that?’

The chief complaint WSU and all schools hear from fans when it comes to buying tickets: the game times. With the $3 billion Pac-12 TV package, late afternoon and night games aren’t going away. So what Finn, the director of ticket operations, has done is create the new WSU 48-hour plan.

“You can choose any three games of the six that we have – and you don’t need to decide which three games you want to go to until game times are announced,” said Finn. “The cost for the three games is $165 and I’ll give you an example: you’ll call us and say I know I want to go to Wyoming but I don’t know the other two games yet. After the game time for OSU is set for, say, 7:30 p.m., we’ll send you an email and you have 48 hours to get back to us if you want to go. We’ll load that ticket into their account via print at home or send it to their phone, so it’s easy.

“And I’ll put this out there: Say someone has two tickets left and they can only go to one game. I’ll credit them that last game, I’ll give them whatever is left on their account and won’t hold anything back… The 48 hour plan has been very popular. Other schools are actually calling us and saying, ‘How are you doing this, and how is it working for you?’”

There is a wealth of information on WSU’s ticket page including seating and you can purchase tickets online: CLICK HERE. And fans can always call 1-800-Go-Cougs if you need more help or want to buy over the phone, Finn noted.

SEASON TICKET SALES are at 12,500, Finn said. WSU ended last season with 13,500 season tickets sold.

“We’re above 2013 numbers, but definitely a drop from 2014 numbers because of the schedule… If you’re going to compare year-to-year, we compare 2015 with 2013 because of (like opponents). Next year we have Oregon and Washington back home, so we’ll compare that with 2014,” said Finn.

Finn also noted that with last year’s attractive home schedule brought out the third-party scalpers, who bought season ticket packages to resell. Next season, with UO and UW home games in Pullman back on the schedule, those third parties will buy more season ticket packages again and look to scalp tickets.

THE TWO MOST POPULAR HOME GAMES on the WSU schedule at the moment are Oregon State (Oct. 17) and Wyoming (Sept. 19), Finn said, with WSU-OSU sales just slightly ahead of Wyoming. Speaking of the Wyoming game, there are few places that can match the unique charms of the Palouse in the early fall.

“I think Wyoming just falls into a good time of year,” said Finn. “And we always pick up this time of year with mini-game plans, single game and season tickets,” said Finn.

For any season ticket holders who have been wondering: most season tickets are going out into the mail today, with the others mailed early next week. There will also be a season ticket holder pick up event for people who live in the Spokane area -- that information will be emailed out shortly, Finn said.

“Most everyone should have their season tickets by the end of next week,” said Finn.


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