WKU season ticket sales up after three-year decline

Brad Stephens

WKU’s 7-5 record one year ago appears to have led to more Topper fans opening their wallets for season tickets.

WKU has sold 8,012 football season ticket packages through Thursday, Athletics Director Todd Stewart said.

That figure represents the highest number of season tickets sold since 2008, when WKU sold 8,648 season ticket packages.

It also reverses a downward trend in recent years for Topper season ticket sales. WKU sold 7,060 season ticket packages in 2011 after selling 7,342 in 2010 and 7,506 in 2009.

“I’m encouraged by this number but we are still not where we need to be,” Stewart said. “We will sell more (Friday) and (Saturday) and actually in the three weeks leading up to the Southern Miss game (on Sept. 22). 

“So, our football season ticket number is the second-highest in program history but not yet an all-time high which remains the goal that we could still reach.”

Meanwhile Hilltopper Athletic Foundation membership is at 1,647, with four months still remaining in the year.

That figure represents the highest membership level in HAF history, Stewart said, and is up from the final 2011 total of 1,549.

“Our goal in the spring was to end this year with an all-time high in HAF membership and football season tickets,” Stewart said. “…The HAF membership goal for 2012 is 2,000 and we will get there.”

Stewart predicted a crowd of 18,000-20,000 fans at Smith Stadium at 6 p.m. Saturday for WKU’s season opener against Austin Peay.

Factored into that figure are:

—11,000 season or single-game tickets sold

—1,000-1,500 tickets typically sold on game day

—Approximately 6,000 students in attendance

“The wild cards for tomorrow are obviously weather and how many students don’t go home because of Labor Day,” Stewart said. “If students stay and the weather cooperates, I anticipate a larger than normal day of game sale and a strong crowd.

“If it rains all day and students go home for Labor Day, it won’t be ideal.”