Hope and excitement are translating to ticket sales after the University of Colorado Boulder hired Deion Sanders as the new head football coach.
That announcement was made over the weekend, and Sanders arrived in Boulder late Saturday night. The deal offered to Sanders is reportedly worth $5 million per year, with incentives that could boost that salary by at least 40%.
A day into the "Coach Prime" era, there's an unfamiliar buzz around supporters of the CU football program. On campus, coach Sanders was one of the main topics of discussion among students Monday.
In the ticketing office aside Folsom Field, excitement about the coach was also becoming a sales force unlike anything Michael Miles had ever seen.
"The fanbase has gotten a new shot of energy, so it's really incredible to have this turnaround here with just one new coach," said Miles, a senior account executive.
Monday marked the first day season ticket holders could renew their plans, an occasion CU moved up several weeks in anticipation of the new coach and scheduled home games against rivals, Nebraska and Colorado State University.
In a few weeks, the office will open season ticket sales up to new customers. Since Sunday, nearly 3,000 have expressed interest and more than 2,000 have put down a $150 deposit to get a spot in line.
"The last time we had this kind of excitement was back when we won the national championship," said Alexis Williams, senior associate athletic director over external operations. "This year we're anticipating 6,000 new season tickets, so it shows you that excitement and the jump."
According to Williams, that total would smash ticket sales records made in more successful times, such as the early 90's and 2016. It'll also bring more revenue to an athletic department that's now paying millions to a big-name coach.
"We anticipate every game to be sold out, and I think this will be the first time we've had a season where every single game is actually sold out," Williams said. "It's a proud moment to be here for this and help plan and strategize how we will do this."
For Miles and the rest of the ticket sales team, it means a hectic and possibly rewarding offseason ahead.
"[It's] very overwhelming, but it's a good thing though," he said. "It definitely makes our job a lot easier than it has been, so it's great and I'm looking forward to staying busy for the next few months."
Between renewals and new customers, CU expects to sell 20,000 season tickets this year, more than the 14,000 sold last year. Single-game tickets will go on sale in the spring.
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