Nov. 1, 2012
By Morgan Bailey, U-M Public and Media Relations
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan men's basketball team holds a preseason No. 5 ranking according to the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches preseason polls, and it is clear the Wolverine faithful are excited about it. With the first exhibition game tipping off tonight (Thursday, Nov. 1) against Northern Michigan and the regular season starting in just over a week, season ticket packages are selling quickly.
"According to our records, these have been the best ticket sales in 18 years -- since 1995," commented Hunter Lochmann, senior associate athletic director and chief marketing officer. "There is a ton of excitement around the team being ranked No. 5 preseason, where the program has been heading the past couple of years, and the newly renovated Crisler Center."
In addition to tracking how many season ticket packages have been sold, the ticket office records the number of "full season equivalents" (FSE) that have been purchased. Recognizing that not everyone can attend 18 regular-season home games, the athletic department arranged a number of ticket packages each including four different games to attend. Every four ticket packages sold is equal to one FSE. With one week remaining before the regular season, the athletic department has already sold more than 10,000 season ticket packages when factoring in FSEs.
"The 10,000 number is a big number in the professional league, so in college it is a mammoth number," Lochmann remarked. "The fact that we are selling 10,000 FSE out of a 12,693-seat arena is unbelievable."
The Nov. 8 deadline for purchasing season tickets is fast approaching, and there are a limited number of season tickets still available. A discounted rate is offered for the full season package, which is $340 total, or $17 per game. Fans are encouraged to act quickly if they still want to join the excitement surrounding Michigan basketball. Being a season ticket holder is the only way to guarantee a spot at every game, and it provides the opportunity to renew the seats next season.
"Tickets are going fast -- really fast," Lochmann commented. "If you want to experience a basketball game, act now! We have 20 home games, including two exhibition games, and I honestly think we can potentially sell out 15 of them, which would be awesome. We sold out eight last year."
The Wolverines were 15-1 last season at Crisler, and a lot of that can be attributed to the homecourt advantage created by Michigan's loyal fans.
"The general fans have really created this homecourt advantage, and that's why we're really excited about these sales," said Lochmann. "We know the more we sell, the more people are there, and it's going to create the homecourt atmosphere that you need in the hypercompetitive Big Ten. We're focused on making sure these home games are full, the event is going to create an atmosphere that is going to have a negative impact on the opposing team, and the fans are going to have a great time."
With the newly renovated Crisler Center and the highly ranked Wolverines, the athletic department is hoping to provide a 'wow' factor for fans that will encourage them to return. A number of games are already down to single tickets available, including Slippery Rock (Nov. 9), North Carolina State (Nov. 27) and Arkansas (Dec. 8).
"The most important message I can say is 'Act now!'" Lochmann advised.
For more information on ticket sales, visit the men's basketball tickets page.