Season ticket sales slip for Wisconsin Badgers football, surge for volleyball

August 30, 2018

The rate of season ticket renewals for the University of Wisconsin football team this season ended up at what has become a predictable level, while demand for a new seating option for the Badgers wrestling team exceeded supply.

And in volleyball, the Badgers have guaranteed themselves an average announced attendance of greater than 6,000 for the first time on season tickets alone.

More than 95 percent of 2017 UW football general public season ticket holders again purchased packages for the 2018 season, according to figures released by the athletic department.

It’s the sixth straight season that the Badgers have reported a renewal rate of 95 percent or 96 percent.

On the heels of the Badgers’ 13-1 season in 2017, season ticket prices climbed by $6 per game this year, to $54 per game or $378 for a seven-home-game season.

UW goes into the 2018 season, which opens Friday night at Camp Randall Stadium (capacity 80,321) against Western Kentucky, with a season ticket base of 66,540, down by 2,173 (3 percent) over 2017.

Of the 2018 total:

• 49,047 are general public tickets.

• 2,234 are in club seats and suites.

• 2,196 are complimentary tickets for staff or as part of contracts or trades.

• 13,063 are in student sections, not including 510 band and spirit squad seats.

UW’s average announced attendance in 2017 was 78,824, 13th-highest in college football.

Volleyball goes high

An expanded capacity for Badgers volleyball home games at the UW Field House has pushed season ticket sales figures to new levels.

UW sold or distributed 6,422 season tickets for the 2018 home season, which opens Saturday against Texas in the HotelRED Invitational.

Compare that with last season’s program-record average announced attendance of 5,980, set before UW raised the capacity from 6,012 to 7,052 by renovating and opening six sections of the Field House’s upper deck.

Like in football, ticket prices also climbed for volleyball in 2018. The cost of a season seat for 12 home matches escalated in a range from $5 to $35; the price for the highest-price reserved seats grew from $65 last season to $100 in 2018.

UW, which has been to the NCAA tournament Sweet 16 in each of the last five years, has been among the top five in NCAA volleyball attendance for the last 18 seasons. The Badgers finished third each year from 2014 to 2017.

Wrestling’s offer popular

A new offering has attracted attention for the Badgers wrestling program: All 96 matside seats sold out for the 2018-19 season.

Coach Chris Bono, hired in March, has been aggressive in marketing his team and expanding its ticket plans for home matches at the Field House.

Season tickets were sold for the first time, including two floor-level rows of seats on the north and south ends of the mat that cost $125 for the season.

After running out of season matside seats, UW also sold 261 reserved season tickets at $45 each. The season, which includes eight home matches, opens Nov. 1 at home against Buffalo.

The Badgers ranked 21st nationally in 2017-18 with an average announced attendance of 1,079, according to theopenmat.com.