This is the time of year when it's safe for fans of college football to dream big. Everyone is undefeated.
It's no different in Bloomington, where Indiana University Athletic Director Fred Glass is optimistic that new coach Tom Allen will lead the Hoosiers to new heights.
The same optimism among Hoosiers fans is already leading to increased ticket sales, Glass said.
“We’re well ahead of last year’s season-ticket sales,” Glass said. “We’re close to 30,000.”
The Aug. 31 home opener against Ohio State University is nearing a sellout in 52,929-seat Memorial Stadium, Glass added.
Adding a level of intrigue to that game, former IU Head Coach Kevin Wilson, whom Glass fired after last season, is now the offensive coordinator of nationally ranked Ohio State.
“My expectation is we’ll sell out for the Ohio State game,” Glass said.
Glass thinks the uptick in season ticket sales has more to do with IU’s growth than any of its opponents.
“We’ve had back-to-back bowl games. We’ve beat Purdue four consecutive years for the first time in almost 70 years,” Glass said. “There’s clear momentum with this program, and Tom Allen has captured people’s imagination.”
The Hoosiers last year had average home attendance of 43,027, down a bit from 44,314 in 2015, which was up from 41,657 in 2014.
Glass is confident IU will average 45,000-plus this season for six home games at Memorial Stadium. That would be a major improvement over the 31,782 average attendance in 2008, the year before Glass arrived in Bloomington.
The Hoosiers have seen a surge in season-ticket sales since 2011—Wilson's first year—when IU sold about 21,000 season tickets for football.
“We’re excited about IU football right now,” Glass said. “And improving attendance helps us close the revenue gap. We’re a have-not in a league of haves."
Glass praised Wilson for “laying a strong foundation.”
“Now we have to take it to the next level,” Glass said. “I think we’re in a position to do that.”