Iowa football team sees rise in season-ticket sales

Mark Emmert

The Rose Bowl glow is lingering for the Iowa football team, and it’s showing up at the ticket office this summer.

Single-game tickets for this fall’s seven home games aren’t on sale yet, but already nearly two-thirds of the Kinnick Stadium seats are spoken for, Matt Henderson reported Tuesday.

Henderson, the senior associate athletic director who oversees ticket sales, said more than 44,000 season tickets have been sold. That includes a 98 percent renewal rate from last year’s contingent of 36,200 public and faculty/staff season-ticket holders. They have been bolstered by 4,800 new season-ticket holders among the public and 4,000 from the student ranks.

Fans were excited when the 2015 season kicked off at Kinnick Stadium, a foreshadowing of the enthusiasm to come as the Hawkeyes went 12-2 and won all seven home games.

What that means for fans who want to attend the Nov. 12 night game against Michigan: Be toward the front of the line when single-game tickets go on sale next month. Donors get first crack at those, starting July 7, with the general public following on July 14. Henderson said it figures to be the hottest ticket of the fall for an Iowa team coming off a 12-2 season that included a perfect home slate.

The Iowa State game on Sept. 10, also under the lights, is another potential sellout, especially with the Cyclones being allocated 3,000 tickets (plus their band) and excitement building around that program under first-year coach Matt Campbell.

For Iowa, it’s a predictable turnaround from a year ago, when season-ticket sales lagged by 16 percent after a five-year stretch of mediocrity from the football team.

“Going into this year we were excited because of the schedule, the success and our fan base. The momentum was going in the right direction,” Henderson said.

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That home schedule also includes traditional rivals Wisconsin and Nebraska. The fan base is responding. A three-game package of tickets for $195 resulted in 1,600 sales in just over 24 hours Monday and Tuesday. The student season-ticket number is already two-thirds of what it was last year (6,000) with July orientation, a big time for sales, still to come.

Season tickets cost $405 for renewals and $415 for new buyers. Single-game prices range from $55 for the Sept. 3 opener against Miami of Ohio to $85 for the matchups with Wisconsin and Michigan.

As long as the weather cooperates on those seven fall Saturdays, Henderson is confident that last year’s average attendance of 63,142 will be easily eclipsed in the 70,585-seat stadium. He’s hoping for seven sellouts, of course, but acknowledged that Michigan and Iowa State are the two likeliest. Last season, only the Minnesota home game — which was paired with a wrestling meet in Kinnick for the first time — sold out on a perfect autumn evening.