Packed House or Dwindling Crowds?

By: Lindsay Liepman
By: Lindsay Liepman

The Texas A&M football team is used to playing in front of a packed house at Kyle Field.

But this season, tickets sales aren't what they used to be and that has the athletic department doing all it can to rev up school spirit.

A year ago Professor Don Smith had had enough Aggie Football.

"I'm finished with Aggie Football...I doubt I'll set foot in the stadium for another game," Smith said in 2003.

But he did. Reluctantly, Smith renewed season tickets last year that cost him more than a hundred dollars over years past. He says the high ticket prices coupled with an losing season are effecting Aggie Game Day attendance.

"They have, in my opinion, completely priced themselves out of the market to where it's almost like, where are we, the NFL?," Smith said.

More and more Aggie fans are siding with Smith and the stands are looking sparse. Ticket sales are down in both the student and general public seating. Ticket prices at Texas A&M are one of the highest in the Big Twelve.

"One of the things we wanted to do was be sensitive to the voice that says, 'hey the tickets aren't affordable,'" Jeff Schmahl of Texas A&M Athletics said.

Former students who graduated in the last five years are now allowed to buy tickets in the student section if they are available. Aggie Athletics also has other offers to promote ticket sales.

"I think it's a good idea. Anything that gets more people to come to the games is a good thing," said former student John Duke.

Fans haven't abandoned the team, they still plan to make a showing.

"It's a good way to show you're involved in the university to go to the games," said Hailey Janecka, a freshman at A&M.

Ticket prices are expected to go up closer to game time. But the team does not want to start the season with dwindling crowds.


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