As we all know, September 22, 2014 was a day of complete embarrassment for Michigan football and everyone who supports the program. The goal of 100,000-plus attendance for home games was in jeopardy, so for a brief period, buying cokes in the Michigan Union could mean two free tickets. This campaign quickly was cancelled, but the fact remained that this was some dark days in the program’s history. The program struggled that year and so did the season ticket sales with fewer than 80,000.
It’s strange to remember that this was less than three years ago. The culture shift with Coach Jim Harbaugh going back-to-back 10 win seasons has generated a lot momentum quickly - and has helped the program reach the most season tickets expected to be sold in a decade.
93,000 season tickets are expected for 2017, an amount Michigan had back to the end of the Lloyd Carr era. Per the athletic department, its the highest since 2007. They also noted that of the 93,000 figure includes 21,000 student section season tickets, also the most since 2007. Michigan’s season ticket renewal rate is currently at 99 percent as well.
“Despite the continued growth in season tickets, we remain committed to offering multiple ticket options to ensure that all fans have an opportunity to join us at Michigan Stadium." Michigan’s athletic director Warde Manuel said in a statement.
He extended his gratitude to everyone supporting the program. “We remain incredibly grateful to our loyal fans and community members. We are pleased to expand the base of fans who will be able to enjoy season tickets, including continued interest from our enthusiastic student body.”
The history of quick turnarounds by Jim Harbaugh in college and the NFL has brought success in Ann Arbor quickly. His staff also contributed to Brady Hoke’s recruiting classes getting a program record 11 selected in the 2017 NFL draft. The Michigan football program has seen a lot of great things happen in the last week; an unforgettable Rome trip, 11 selected in the NFL draft, and now an expected high in season tickets sold dating back to Lloyd Carr.
The turnaround has happened quicker than we all thought.