Two weeks remain before the deadline to renew season football tickets, and Purdue has already sold nearly three times the number of new tickets as last year.
On May 1, 2012, the deadline for last year’s season ticket renewals, 1,641 new season tickets had been sold. As of Monday, 4,815 new season tickets had been sold.
“It’s early, and we are pleased with our numbers to this point,” Purdue athletics director Morgan Burke said. “We appreciate those fans who have renewed their season tickets and (are) excited to have so many new customers on board.
“Darrell clearly has energized the fan base, and we look forward to continuing the momentum that has been generated into the summer and next season.”
In a February interview with West Lafayette TV station WLFI, former head coach Danny Hope blamed his dismissal on low attendance during his tenure as coach.
“It came down to ticket sales,” Hope told the station, “but ticket sales have been dropping here since 2000. It’s not all about what happens just behind the whistle. You have to have some accountability behind the necktie as well.”
The increasing ticket sales this year show the priority Darrell Hazell and the new coaching staff have placed on energizing the fan base.
“It’s going to take all of us in the Purdue family to win a Big Ten Championship as well as a Rose Bowl Championship,” Hazell said in his introductory press conference on Dec. 6.
In addition to the excitement surrounding the new coaching staff, this year’s home schedule is another reason for the increased fan interest.
Purdue hosts Notre Dame and Northern Illinois in non-conference games, two teams that played in Bowl Championship Series games last season. During conference play, Nebraska visits West Lafayette for the first time since joining the Big Ten, and Ohio State returns to Ross-Ade Stadium fresh off a 12-0 season under first-year head coach Urban Meyer.
Ross-Ade Brigade president Jason Plepel, a sophomore in the School of Management, said next year’s schedule and new coaching staff have made an impact on the student section’s overall excitement.
“It’s pretty key – we have two BCS (bowl teams) in Notre Dame and Northern Illinois coming here,” Prefel said. “There’s excitement in the stadium, with the teams we’re playing and the coach – you name it. There’s a lot more excitement than last year, I think.”