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WVU football: Tickets to spare this season

MORGANTOWN - West Virginia sold about 6,000 single-game and mini-package football tickets since opening sales to the public Monday and season tickets are still available through three methods, Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Marketing Matt Wells said Wednesday.

One of the three ways to get season tickets is new this season. In the third year of beer sales at Mountaineer Field, WVU is introducing a block of about 1,110 seats in a designated alcohol-free area called the Family FunZone.

"A lot of the feedback we heard throughout the beer sale process and when this was being planned the first two years was related to, 'It'd be nice to have an area in the stadium that's alcohol free,' " Wells said. "We made that a priority, but there were some variables at play there."

In short, the Mountaineers have tickets to spare this year. They're not locked into large allotments to visiting teams like Marshall (5,300 tickets) or LSU (5,000) in non-conference play. Visiting Big 12 teams get 3,850, which is less than what visiting Big East teams were to receive.

"Logistically, a number of things helped us open a full section for this season that had been a part of the visiting team's allotment," Wells said. "We wanted to work with fans to accommodate them as best as we could, but we needed things to open up operationally and logistically."

The alcohol-free zone is section 133 in the South end zone. It requires no donation to the Mountaineer Athletic Club and costs the same $365 fee every other season ticket package costs before a MAC donation. Single-game tickets are also available in that zone for that game's face value.

Fans can still buy season tickets in the green zone in the South end zone that includes the alcohol-free zone.

No MAC donation is required there, either. Season tickets in the orange zone in the Northwest, Southwest and Southeast corners of the stadium and the gold zones located inside the orange zones in the same corners require a MAC donation.

Ideally, those three ideas help Wells boost season ticket sales, which are down this season. Wells said Wednesday 33,100 had been sold for next season. Last season, WVU sold more than 37,400.

"You had three things working for you last year that individually by themselves would have been great," Wells said. "Obviously, coming off the Orange Bowl victory helped ticket sales.

Having the returning players we had in Geno (Smith), Stedman (Bailey) and Tavon (Austin), that helped in and of itself. And then moving to the Big 12 and the excitement that created and the home schedule we had, that helped.

"Any one of those on its own would have been fine. When you combine them together, it's a perfect storm."

The Mountaineers are also expanding access to tickets beyond the alcohol-free zone and the green, orange and gold season ticket zones. For a third straight season, WVU is selling a three-game mini-package for $195.

It provides single-game tickets to the opener against William & Mary, Texas and Iowa State, the only way to get a single-game ticket for Texas.

A three-game package the past two seasons were the only ways to get single-game tickets to games against LSU and Oklahoma.

"I think it's a positive from a cost perspective," Wells said. "It gives people another price point. We recognize and understand that fans are busy with family functions, their kids playing sports and everything else that goes into attending a football game, whether it's a time commitment or lodging and all that. It's a positive thing for those who maybe can't make six games, but who can make three."

Single-game tickets are available for the other the other five home games. The Georgia State game is a "Family Day," when four tickets and a $25 concessions voucher costs $150.

Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mikec@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.


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