WSU's season-ticket sales down, but not out

SALES OF FOOTBALL season tickets at Washington State are lagging notably behind last year's pace. But given three factors -- the struggling economy, the Apple Cup being played at Husky Stadium, and a team coming off a disappointing 2008 season -- the numbers are actually fairly encouraging, says the man in charge of WSU's ticket sales.

"We're not enduring anywhere close to an ‘Armageddon' scenario, but at 85 percent of where we were last year at this time in season ticket sales, we still have quite a ways to go this summer," Dan Meyer, WSU's Director of Ticket Sales and Operations, tells CF.C.

As of this week WSU had sold 10,800 season tickets for the Cougars' five games that will be played in Martin Stadium this fall. Even when added to the 11,000 student season tickets that are expected to be purchased by the fall, that's 1,500 fewer season tickets than were sold at this point a year ago.

One factor that bodes well for making up ground between now the start of the season is that some seats in prime locations are now available because their "owners" didn't renew.

"Some areas of the stadium that haven't been readily available in past years now have some openings," said Meyer. "These are great seats. And buying them has a double-benefit to the Cougs because acquiring them requires a Priority Seating donation to the student-athlete scholarship fund.

"Some of the very best seats in the stadium are available," he added. "Section 6 under the press box and Sections 25 and 26 on the north side -- the sunny side -- have been sold out for years. But now we have several locations available. And there may not be another chance to access these seats for many years."

Once you are locked into these locations, you retain first right of refusal on them in perpetuity, said Meyer. "So this is an opportunity worth investigating. When the Cougs are back fighting for bowl bids, our fans will want these seats ... I can only encourage people to grab them now while they are available."

Other notable developments with Cougar football season tickets for 2009 are:

  • The price for season-ticket sideline seats is $200, down from last season's $280.

  • Priority Seating Requirements in all donation-required sections remained unchanged for the third consecutive season.

  • If personal finances have become a burden, newly added "Value Sections" have been added to the mix, with season tickets just $125 in Sections 11-12 and 21-23.

  • Within those Value Sections, a "Value Plan." consisting of four season tickets can be purchased for $425.

  • Value Plans are different from Family Plans, in that the tickets are not restricted to youths -- anyone can use the four tickets in a Value Plan.

    WSU's home slate opens with Stanford on Sept. 5 and is followed by Southern Methodist on Sept. 19, Arizona State on Oct. 10 (Homecoming), UCLA on November 14 (Dads Day), and Oregon State on Nov. 21.

    The Cougars also have a "home" game at Seattle's Qwest Field on Sept. 12 against Hawaii. Tickets for that contest are sold separately from season tickets. So far, 6,100 tickets have been purchased for that game -- down slightly from this same point a year ago when the Cougs were prepping for Oklahoma State at Qwest Field. That game ultimately wound up attracting nearly 51,000 fans.

    Several thousand of those attendees at Qwest were youngsters who were able to go to the game because of ticket donations made by WSU alums and fans. WSU is again teaming up with the Boys and Girls Clubs and other non-profit youth organizations to get youngsters to the game. To buy tickets for donation, contact the Athletic Ticket Office by email at athletictickets@wsu.edu.

    "It's just another way to help WSU create a great home-field advantage in Seattle, with the added benefit of giving the next generation of Cougs an opportunity to see a game they might not have otherwise been able to attend," said Meyer.

    To order season tickets, single-game-tickets, Qwest game tickets, or away-games, call 509-335-9626 or 800-Go-Cougs or CLICK HERE.

    MARK YOUR CALENDARS: Space is still available for the May 29 golf tourney and dinner at the King County Cougar Golf Classic co-sponsored by Cougfan.com. It's at the Golf Club at Newcastle and will feature such notables as Ken Bone, Paul Wulff, Jim Sterk, Jason Gesser, Robbie Tobeck and many others. Registration/lunch/ driving and putting ranges open at 11 am. Shotgun start at 1 pm. Social hour/Dinner/Auction at 6:30. To sign up for golf or just dinner, contact Todd Thrasher at (206) 448-1335 or tthrasher@wsu.edu.

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