Ohio State bucks student football ticket sales trend

Ohio Stadium figures to be packed this fall. 

Rob Leifheit-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State joined Penn State in bucking a trend that has hit elsewhere in college football of declining ticket sales among students.

While Michigan reportedly is projecting a drop to 13,000 or 14,000 student tickets sold this year from as many as 21,000 two years ago, Ohio State announced earlier this week it had sold 29,614 ticket packages, 1,281 over the initial allotment.

"The student demand was strong and we reacted by not ending the sale at the set allotment," said Ohio State assistant athletic director for ticketing and premium seating Brett Scarbrough via a statement. "The additional seating in Ohio Stadium allowed us the opportunity to sell more student packages and to also have some inventory available for the single-game sale." 

The public sale is set to begin at 10 a.m. Friday with a limited number available for all seven of the Buckeyes’ home games.

This summer the athletics department is adding 2,522 seats to the South Stands of the venerable Horseshoe where the Buckeyes have played home games since 1922.

"Obviously we’ve been watching it because it was happening at Michigan and actually has happened over the years across the country," OSU athletics director Gene Smith told BuckeyeSports.com in June. "We blew way past our ticket allotment. I think we went 1,600 tickets over our allotment for students. Brett left the student ticket ordering open so more students could order.

"We’re fortunate. Our public and donor sell was at about 98-point-something percent renewal. We’re in good shape. However, you have to constantly continue to develop the fan experience."

Penn State previously announced it had sold out its student allotment of 21,000 tickets for the first season under new head coach James Franklin, who has enjoyed a fruitful spring and summer on the recruiting trail since leaving Vanderbilt for Happy Valley.

Last season, Michigan led the nation in overall home attendance at 111,592 fans per game while Ohio State was second at 104,933. Penn State was fifth at 96,587, though that number is well below the listed Beaver Stadium capacity of 106,572.