Maryland's season ticket and attendance efforts in football have been a famously sinking ship. In fact, that was one of the reasons (presumably, at least) that Ralph Friedgen got the plug. We have good news, then: for the first time in seven years, Maryland is expecting to sell more season tickets than the season before.
With nearly two months left until the season opener against Miami on Labor Day, indications are that the Terrapins could see modest gains in season ticket sales this season. One year after Maryland sold a little more than 19,000 season tickets, athletic department officials say the school has sold 18,400 to date for the 2011 season and is projecting to sell 21,000.
The current renewal percentage of 86 percent is 7 percent higher than last year's final renewal percentage, school officials said. And Maryland has sold more than 1,200 new season tickets to date, which is already higher than its new-ticket sales total in 2010.
Must be that exciting Edsall/Crowton offense and Randy's entertaining personality. Er...wait, no, that was someone else. Well, maybe that cheesy website and referral program did some damage.
Setting aside the pointless point that Leach would've brought in more tickets, it's a good sign. Ticket sales ultimately have everything to do with winning games, so it's no surprise that sales jump after fielding a competitive team, particularly one as likable as the current iteration. That's also why Leach doesn't matter in the long run.
The real takeaway for me: this helps for future investment in the sport. Maryland needs to make a bigger investment in football. With Under Armour right behind them, it'd be a horribly wasted opportunity to keep treating it like they've treated it. But building indoor practice facilities and renovating a stadium that just had a recent (failed) renovation are tough sells for a sport that no one cares about. Ticket sales need to increase. Luckily, it looks like that's exactly what's happening.