Florida State Football Season Ticket Sales Skyrocketing

Hot off their national championship win, the Florida State Seminoles are experiencing extremely high demand for football season tickets. With a 90% renewal rate from previous season ticket holders and more than 9,400 new season tickets sold, Florida State could conceivably sell out of season tickets by the end of spring.

The 9,400 new season tickets sold so far this spring is 200% higher than new season tickets sold all of last year. The Seminoles are also seeing a renewal rate that is 210% higher than in past years for existing season ticket holders.

Season ticket sales boost the athletic department in a number of ways. First, there's the face value of the tickets themselves, which are $340 each for new season ticket holders or $325 each for those renewing season tickets.

But the real money is in the donation required for the right to purchase those season tickets. FSU says annual fund contributions are up 250% compared to this time last year, with most of that attributable to football. Not only do contributions generally account for anywhere from 50% to 100% more than revenue from television and other conference sources for athletic departments, it's also the revenue source that has the greatest ability to grow from year to year.

For the 2011-2012 school year, Florida State ranked 14th in the nation among public universities for revenue derived from football ticket sales and contributions to the football program with $30.6 million, according to a report filed by the athletic department with the NCAA. (Since athletic departments report these numbers differently, they're best compared as a combined total.) Florida State led the ACC but banked less than half the revenue #1 Texas raked in from ticket sales and contributions.

   

Ticket Sales

Contributions

Combined Total

1

Texas

$35,567,527

$30,237,978

$65,805,505

2

Michigan

$35,747,432

$22,452,520

$58,199,952

3

Ohio State

$41,885,216

$15,123,907

$57,009,123

4

Florida

$17,635,529

$37,130,529

$54,766,058

5

Auburn

$27,598,702

$27,126,569

$54,725,271

6

Arkansas

$28,479,575

$25,443,739

$53,923,314

7

Louisiana State

$29,571,245

$22,184,862

$51,756,107

8

Alabama

$29,278,884

$18,458,891

$47,737,775

9

Oklahoma

$31,937,164

$14,258,933

$46,196,097

10

Georgia

$18,579,959

$27,600,640

$46,180,599

11

Tennessee

$28,565,041

$12,484,421

$41,049,462

12

South Carolina

$16,109,980

$20,469,733

$36,579,713

13

Texas A&M

$27,167,945

$5,667,868

$32,835,813

14

Florida State

$17,920,280

$12,704,978

$30,625,258

15

Nebraska

$27,378,667

$3,192,716

$30,571,383

16

Iowa

$20,272,653

$7,322,802

$27,595,455

17

Washington

$16,593,182

$9,857,660

$26,450,842

18

Virginia Tech

$16,339,537

$9,026,363

$25,365,900

19

Oklahoma State

$17,481,668

$5,655,271

$23,136,939

20

Texas Tech

$13,608,849

$7,516,439

$21,125,288

In-state rival University of Florida gives an example of how ticket-related contributions can skyrocket with a national championship. In 2002, ticket-related contributions at Florida were just over $10 million. After the Gators won national championships in 2006 and 2008, ticket-related contributions catapulted to over $20 million annually, and by 2011 ticket-related contributions accounted for $37 million in revenue.

Florida State says it's seen an impact on other areas of revenue as well. During the first 24 hours after the Seminoles won the national championship, Seminoles.com, Florida State's online store, had net sales of $462,000. History tells us the school can continue to expect increased merchandise sales, and thus licensing revenue. LSU saw its licensing revenue jump from under $1 million prior to its 2003 national title to over $5 million following its 2007 championship.

As I detailed immediately following Florida State's national championship in January, the university will likely see gains in a number of areas, including donations from alumni who are brought back into the fold, so to speak, following the excitement of the national title. The university will likely also see spikes in applications, which it can use to either grow enrollment or become more selective.

No doubt, Florida State's title will continue to pay dividends in the near future. Studies suggest the halo effect from a national title win lasts three years, so Florida State will hope to extend the impact with another winning season in 2014.

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