The 40,000-plus attendance for the season far exceeds the 2008 average of 31,782 fans per game. The last time IU averaged more than 40,000 fans was 17 years ago when an average of 44,072 fans filled Memorial Stadium for each home game.
This season, IU has averaged 40,478 games for its first five home games.
IU athletics director Fred Glass attributes three factors to the increased attendance - the new North End Zone, the emphasis on a festive atmosphere during the game, and the performance of the football team, especially in home games.
“The North End Zone is a a key component of that,” Glass said. “It physically feels like you are in a Big Ten stadium.”
While Glass said the ultimate goal is to sell out every home game, he said he was hopeful to sell out this week’s Purdue game if there are strong walk-up ticket sales.
IU coach Bill Lynch said Glass deserves much of the credit for the increased ticket sales.
“Their entire staff has worked so hard over the last six to eight months to do all the things, not only the physical aspects of the stadium, but community and campus outreach to get people involved,” Lynch said.
Student section expands for Bucket game
Glass also added that the student section would be expanded by more than 50 percent (from 8,100 to 12,500) for the Purdue game. Even with the expansion, Glass said the expanded section is close to filling up already and expects to sell out the student seats.
“I’m calling on the students to get their tickets quickly,” Glass said. “You don’t want to be odd man out like some of them were for the Ohio State game where we sold out.”
More than 10,000 of the tickets sold for the Purdue game have gone to students.
Glass said he has been thrilled by the support of the students all season, adding that students are the key to the energy inside Memorial Stadium. In fact, Glass would consider expanding the student section permanently.
“I’d like that number to move ever northward and to create an experience where students enjoy coming,” Glass said.
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