Jon Solomon also linked to this piece about a certain amount of discontent in the Nebraska fan base over a mandatory seat contribution while the school is awash in TV money. What adds to the situation is that the school sits on a 53-year sellout streak, something the athletic department deploys as a marketing tool to get fans to pony up.
John: “I hate the sellout streak. It’s been overinflated since the ‘Bill Callahan Experiment,’ when tickets ended up on StubHub or in the hands of some guy on the street corner. It wasn’t the everyday fan buying those tickets.
“What really makes me hate the streak are those signs at the stadium: ‘Through these gates pass the greatest fans in college football.’ It’s a guilt trip from the A.D.’s office. … Don’t tell me I don’t love my team just because I won’t fall for what amounts to ‘emotional extortion’ in an attempt to separate me from my cash in the name of preserving this farce of a streak. Like any relationship, it works both ways.
“I predicted the East Stadium expansion would one day bite the athletic department. That day is fast approaching as more and more people say, ‘Enough extortion!’ and all of those new seats start going empty. It’s time for the streak to end so the relationship between fan and team can begin anew.”
I don’t think the streak is in any real jeopardy yet. As the article notes, there are only about 1,000 tickets outstanding, something that can be attributed to a little more supply hitting the home market last season due to a policy change. It’s not like there are a helluva lot of other Saturday afternoon entertainment options in Lincoln, Nebraska, either.
But if you read some of the comments in that piece, there are a few themes touched on there that we’ve heard apply in other college stadiums. If there’s a canary in the coal mine, you wonder how many ADs can hear it chirping.