The men’s basketball team’s run to the second round of the NCAA Tournament could spell record-setting student ticket sales for next season, according to Athletic Department officials.
The department has already sold 1,032 student season tickets for the 2009-2010 season. Last year only 470 student season tickets were sold, according to Marty Bodnar, associate director of ticketing sales at the University.
Despite the fact that early discount ticket sales end today at 5 p.m., Bodnar said the boost in sales could make for a record setting year.
“If we hit 2,000 (tickets) it might be the highest since the mid-’90s,” he said.
Bodnar said the reason for the surge is quite obvious.
“There is no question that our team exceeded expectations last year, making the Tournament for the first time in 11 seasons,” he said. “On top of that, with (Manny) Harris and (DeShawn) Sims returning, we have an exciting team coming back.”
He added that a 20-percent discount on student tickets may also have contributed to the increase in sales.
After today, ticket prices will increase from the discounted rate of $99 to $125. Basketball tickets at student rates will be offered for incoming freshmen students starting in June.
Bodnar said the boost in ticket sales is good news for the team, too, as having a full arena helps out the players.
“Our goal is to fill those bleachers up, because that creates a game day atmosphere for our players,” he said. “We’re on our way to filling those bleachers up for each and every game and we’re excited about that.”
LSA freshman Brett Smith is one of many students already excited for the upcoming season.
Smith didn’t get tickets last season, but he said he couldn’t pass up the opportunity this year.
“I really look forward to what our team is looking like next year,” he said. “I really think that Coach (John) Beilein has something going for him and I’m glad to be a part of it.”
LSA senior Matt Sever, who is attending the University for graduate school in the fall, said he has plans to buy his basketball tickets today.
“It looks like we’re going to be even better this year,” he said. “Our program is on the right track — it’s terrific.”