Minium: ticket sales for the football season are increasing
By Harry Minium
NORFOLK, Virginia – With 10 weeks until the start of the 2022 Old Dominion football season, the University has sold 2,000 more season tickets than last season.
Season ticket sales topped 9,306 last week, said athletic director Dr Wood Selig. A year ago, ODU only sold 7,200 subscriptions.
ODU’s first season playing football under the coach Ricky Rahn had boosted fan optimism – last season the Monarchs won their last five regular season games and went to their first bowl game since 2016.
ODU also dropped the unpopular ticket subscriptions, which fans had to buy to qualify for some of the stadium’s best seats. The elimination of ticket subscriptions reduced prices for more than 80% of secondary seats.
The calendar is also much more solid. The Monarchs open at home against Virginia Tech on September 2 and ODU plays its first season in the Sun Belt Conference, a step up from Conference USA.
The Monarchs host Sun Belt foes James Madison, Marshall, Arkansas State and Georgia Southern along with Liberty in another non-conference game.
SB Ballard Stadium has nearly 22,000 fans, but between free tickets for players and their families and tickets reserved for students and visiting teams, ODU must sell around 14,600 season tickets to sell the stadium. All season tickets are secondary seats with prices starting at $150.
Officials expect SB Ballard Stadium to be sold out for the Virginia Tech game without any game tickets going on sale to the general public. The same will likely be true for the final home game of the season, against JMU on November 12, which has been designated as the Oyster Bowl and Military Appreciation Game.
Some seats have been reserved until early June for old season ticket holders in case they want to buy more tickets. These tickets have now been made public. This means that there are a limited number of places available between the 40 meter lines.
ODU will launch a media campaign at the end of July and throughout August, and that’s when many of the approximately 5,000 remaining tickets will sell out.
“I’m happy with the sales,” Selig said. “I think we’re reaching what every school in the country is reaching right now, which is a lull. But from mid-July to kickoff, the phones are going to burn.
“I would like to choose now from the 5,000 secondary seats we have left instead of waiting until the end of August and choosing from what is left.”
Selig said 92% of last year’s season ticket holders renewed their seats, which is a higher number than usual. He added that 774 individuals or groups have so far purchased 2,824 new tickets.
ODU upset Virginia Tech, 49-35, at the old Foreman Field in 2018. The Sept. 2 game will be Tech’s first return to Norfolk since. It marks the debut of freshman head coach Brent Pry, who coached at Penn State with Rahne, and will be televised nationally by ESPNU.
“The game is going to be electric,” Selig said. “It’s not a game that I think any of our fans want to miss.”