1,000-Seat Growth Milestone Reached
Oct. 7, 2008
LAS VEGAS - The UNLV Athletics Department announced today that its men's basketball season-ticket sales at the end of September were already up 1,013 seats over last year's total season-ticket sales, which is an increase of 18.9 percent in season tickets sold.
With October being a crucial time for selling tickets for college basketball programs, UNLV's position entering the month was encouraging.
"Winning obviously helps to create the demand," said UNLV Athletics Director Mike Hamrick. "At the same time, we've done some creative things with our marketing both in our messaging as well as in the way we were able to restructure things to create more resources."
An obvious factor in the growth of the total number of season tickets sold is the new $90 endzone balcony season ticket. As of Sept. 30, 562 of the new entry level season tickets had been sold, many in the final week of the month alone. (Approximately 2,000 of the $90 seats were made available.)
However, UNLV has also experienced gains in all other areas - primarily the $485 plaza level seats and the $175 balcony level seats. Sales are up 8.3 percent over last year's final numbers when not factoring in the $90 seats. The $175 balcony level season ticket sales are up 21.8 percent over last year.
"It's exciting to see the community get behind this team," Runnin' Rebel head coach Lon Kruger said. "We need the Thomas & Mack filled and we need it loud. That has a direct impact on the game. When you see the growth in the $175 balcony level area, we think you are seeing people who are recognizing the best value in Las Vegas. That's less than $10 per game."
Kruger said filling the plaza level downstairs is crucial for the program. Less than 600 pairs of tickets now remain in the plaza level. Plaza level tickets sales have grown 6.5 percent from last season.
"Once those tickets are gone, they are gone," Kruger said. "It's getting more difficult to get those seats and our fans are making a decision to get those seats now before it is too late."
All season tickets, in both donor and non-donor seating areas, are now available for purchase for the 2008-09 Runnin' Rebel season. Limited seating is available in the plaza level in both donor and non-donor areas. Balcony season tickets for 18 home games at the Thomas & Mack Center are available for $175 and $90.
For more information on purchasing season tickets, call 702-739-FANS (3267). Those interested in purchasing donor season tickets in the plaza level should call 702-895-1533. Depending on continued demand and sales of season tickets, any remaining tickets are projected to go on sale on a single-game basis on Oct. 27 at the earliest.
UNLV finished the 2007-08 season with an overall record of 27-8 and lost to eventual national champion Kansas in the NCAA Tournament's second round. The appearance in the NCAA Tournament was the second straight for UNLV, which advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2007, and the first time that the Runnin' Rebels won games in back-to-back NCAA Tournaments since 1990 and 1991.
UNLV finished second in the Mountain West Conference last season with a 12-4 mark for the second consecutive year and won the MWC Tournament championship, also for the second straight time.
Kruger, who was named the 2007-08 MWC and USBWA District VIII Coach of the Year, will enter his fifth season at UNLV in 2008-09 after compiling a four-year mark of 91-42 (.684), including a record of 57-15 (.792) over the last two seasons. UNLV's 57 wins over the past two years ranks ninth in the country among teams that have played in each of the last two NCAA Tournaments and is the second-most victories over the last two years among teams in the West, only behind UCLA.
UNLV has a 15-game home win streak, which is the 11th-longest active streak in the country, has compiled a record of 38-3 at home over the last two seasons and has won 24 straight games against MWC opponents at the Thomas & Mack Center.
UNLV loses only two players from last season's team and has four seniors on the 2008-09 roster in Wink Adams, Joe Darger, René Rougeau and Mareceo Rutledge. Several publications have listed UNLV in their 2008-09 preseason Top 25 polls. UNLV completed its summer foreign exhibition tour of Australia in July and compiled a 4-2 mark.