WVU football: Single-game tickets go quickly
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia University suspended ticket sales to all but two of this year's home football games in a matter of hours Tuesday, the latest sign of excitement over the school's inaugural Big 12 season.
Tuesday was the first day of single-game ticket sales for the 2013 football season. This year is also the last scheduled year for the Friends of Coal Bowl, the game that has been played for the past six years between WVU and Marshall University.
Both of those factors sent fans rushing to order tickets when they went on sale Tuesday morning.
"We've had just a huge day when it comes to ticket sales," said Matt Wells, WVU's assistant athletic director for marketing and sales.
"As of 3 o'clock, we've sold 9,000 total single-game tickets for those available single home games," Wells said. "That's a heck of a number for a little less than one business day."
Tickets went on sale at 9 a.m. Tuesday. Tickets for the WVU's home opener versus Marshall on Sept. 1 and its inaugural Big 12 home game against Baylor on Sept. 29 lasted about two and a half hours.
"We announced that we suspended sales for those two games shortly after 11:30 (a.m.)," Wells said.
He said it wasn't much of a surprise that individual game tickets went so fast.
"The availability was somewhat limited to begin with," he said.
WVU later announced that ticket sales for the Mountaineers' Sept. 22 home game versus Maryland and Oct. 22 home game against Kansas State also were suspended, pending additional returns from the visiting team allotment.
WVU has sold all but 800 of its 38,200 season tickets for this season.
Wells expects the remaining season ticket packages to sell later this summer.
The university is holding steady the allotment of 12,500 student tickets for each game this season.
Students will be able to claim those tickets during the week leading up to each game.
The university also offered a mini-package of three games: the Sept. 29 Baylor game, Nov. 17 Oklahoma game, and the Dec. 1 Kansas game.
Those packages were sold exclusively to Mountaineer Athletic Club donors.
While sales for four of the university's seven home games were suspended on Tuesday, tickets for one game didn't even go up for sale.
Wells said the Nov. 17 Okalahoma game wasn't included in single-game ticket sales because of already high demand for those tickets. In addition to season tickets, mini-packages and student tickets for that game, Wells said Oklahoma has requested the full allotment of 4,000 tickets.
"That made single-game availability non-existent," he said.
Wells said strong ticket demand is a good indicator of excitement and positive momentum for WVU heading into the fall season.
"I think our fans are excited about the quality of the team coming back, and with all of the excitement about the Big 12 and a good home schedule, all of that has shown up in our ticket sales," he said.
The university doesn't yet consider these games sold out, Wells said, because some tickets may become available when the visiting teams return any unsold tickets.
"It's impossible to predict the number, but it's very possible that some tickets will be returned and put on sale as we receive those returns," he said.
But Wells said those tickets won't go on sale until a couple of weeks before each individual game this fall.
"It just depends on when the teams return the tickets," he said.
He said fans should check WVUSports.com for ticket announcements in the weeks leading up to those games.
Contact writer Jared Hunt at email@example.com or 304-348-5148.