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Sports Business

Colts already nearing sellout for all 2014 games

March 10, 2014
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Indianapolis Colts season ticket renewal rates for 63,000 available seats for the upcoming season are running 2 percentage points ahead of last year, and team officials think the rates will settle between eye-popping 95 percent and 97 percent.

The deadline to renew was March 3, but Chief Operating Officer Pete Ward said some renewals are still trickling in.

“We’d be disappointed, and at this point surprised, if we didn’t sell out [Lucas Oil Stadium] through season ticket sales,” Ward said. “We had an exciting season last year and we have a lot of young, exciting players and a lot to look forward to.”

Ward also credits unchanged ticket prices for the strong renewal rate this off-season.

The stadium officially can hold 64,000. However, the Colts squeeze in more bodies by selling standing-room-only tickets—mostly to people in suites and other luxury areas. Last year, the Colts averaged 65,950 per home game—104.7 percent of capacity.

After all the renewals are tabulated, Ward expects to have fewer than 3,100 individual seats (for each home game) to sell. Those will likely be gobbled up by some of the 7,500 people on the season ticket waiting list, Ward said. About 3,000 additional seats will be held out for group sales.

About the only chance to get a Colts single-game ticket for 2014 will be the secondary market. There may be a few available through the Colts ticket office if the visiting team returns any of their allotment.

Luxury suites, too, appear to be in high demand. A few are up for renewal this off-season and Ward expects that inventory to sell out “in the near future.”

This year is in stark contrast to where the team was two years ago. Following a 2-14 season and the release of quarterback Peyton Manning, the season ticket renewal rate dropped six percentage points to 87 percent. It was the first time in more than a decade, Ward said, that season-ticket renewal had slipped below 90 percent.

The renewal rate is certainly a strong endorsement for Manning’s replacement, quarterback Andrew Luck. Fans also have embraced Coach Chuck Pagano. I sense the jury is still out on Colts General Manager Ryan Grigson as fans wait to see which player personnel moves he will make this off season and how the team responds next season.

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