Classes at Indiana University don’t begin until Monday but students hoping to attend men’s basketball games this fall had better already have their season tickets.
The IU athletic department announced that it has sold all 12,400 student season tickets for the 2012-13 basketball season. The number was capped so that students purchasing a season ticket would be guaranteed to attend at least 10 of the 16 home games. Indiana has the largest student section in the country with 7,800 seats.
“I am thrilled to see the student ticket demand returning to the same levels I experienced when I was a student at IU,” said athletic director Fred Glass. “When I was a student, a season ticket entitled you to a portion of the games. I’ve always said that Indiana basketball is an important part of the IU college experience and we want as many students as possible to have a chance to experience it live in Assembly Hall.”
They are sold in a package with football season tickets so the increased demand has benefitted both programs. A total of 26,400 football season tickets have been sold — 13,000 to students — which is nearly 5,000 more than last season.
In recent seasons, Indiana had been unable to sellout the 7,800-seat section in Assembly Hall. Last season, IU sold 7,632. In Tom Crean’s first year, the 2008-09 season, just over 4,500 student season tickets were sold.
Returning students were able to purchase the combo season ticket during spring registration and freshman at orientation in the summer. The cost is $180 for six football games ($5 each) and 10 basketball ($15).
Generally, those combo tickets don’t reach the basketball capacity. Last year, 6,500 were sold prior to the start of football season. Once football season began in the past, students were able to purchase basketball season tickets through the start of the season. Students could buy tickets the day of the game in many instances in recent season.
IU Student Athletic Board president Chris Port said it’s simply a part of the progression that comes with a successful basketball program. With IU coming off a 27-9 season that included a trip to the NCAA’s Sweet Sixteen, ticket demand was higher than normal.
“This isn’t unprecedented. I’ve talked to some alumni who went to IU back in the renaissance days and they said they would have been really lucky to get 10 games,” Port said with a laugh. “I do think there’s a good level of disappointment from people who weren’t able to get their hands on tickets. One of our initiatives this year on the Student Athletic Board is to find a way to get as many people to experience IU basketball as possible.”
Glass said there’s a waiting list of several hundred students hoping for tickets.
The last time IU sold more than 7,800 student season tickets was 2003, the year after IU had played in the national championship game against Maryland.
Students without season tickets are not completely shutout. The games over winter break are not part of the student season ticket package and will be sold individually after the schedule is released.