ACC move creates increase in ticket sales, attendance

Since moving to the Atlantic Coast Conference from the Big East, ticket sales for Syracuse University sports have increased, with basketball ticket sales already surpassing last year’s numbers.

There are a number of factors contributing to these increases in sales, said Joe Giansante, the executive senior associate athletics director.

“There are the high end teams, especially in football, that we didn’t have in the Big East as far as the rankings go,” Giansante said about the ACC. “I think just the quality overall is obviously better.  The other part is that it’s new, and people haven’t seen this at the Dome before.”

Another factor that increased the demand for tickets is high anticipation regarding this year’s football and basketball schedules, he said.

None of this comes as a surprise to Giansante, who said that after doing the research, SU Athletics expected its profits to increase with the conference change.  With more people attending games, more merchandise, food and beverages will also be sold, further increasing profits, he said.

The number of football and basketball season tickets sold this year has already exceeded last year’s sales, said Jeremiah Maher, associate athletics director for ticket operations.  He added that this year’s homecoming football game against Clemson University drew the largest crowd to the Dome since the early 2000s.

“The move to the ACC has provided a tougher schedule with better opponents and obviously those kind of games lead to more fan interest,” said Maher.

The addition of teams from Duke University and University of North Carolina have led to what Maher considers the best schedule the men’s basketball team has had in years.

Maher added that much of this increase is correlated with the men’s basketball team’s successful 2013 season. With last year’s frenzy surrounding the success of the team, he said that the tickets are “almost selling themselves.”

Maher said increased ticket sales show the enthusiasm of the community regarding the conference change.

“From a ticket sales standpoint, I think that tells us everything we need to know,” he said, “It’s significantly higher than it was last year, so to me, everybody is really excited about this move to the ACC.”

Giansante said the increased attendance has given the basketball team a great deal of support.  He added that this is a great recruiting tool, which helps to keep the program going.

While most of the attention regarding the move is being directed toward football and basketball, Maher and Giansante are also expecting increased interest in other sports, such as lacrosse, field hockey and soccer.

Women’s lacrosse games will also be ticketed for the first time, due to the move, Maher said.

The ACC is a much more competitive league for soccer and field hockey, and this will likely increase attendance, Giansante said.  He added that he expects there to be more interest in the men’s lacrosse team, now that SU and Duke are in the same league.  Giansante called the ACC “the most superior conference for lacrosse that has ever been created.”

The move to the ACC has also gotten students like James Hadnot, a freshman broadcast and digital journalism major, excited for the upcoming season. He said he planned on purchasing tickets to the anticipated match-ups, including games against Duke, Miami, North Carolina and Florida State.

Said Hadnot: “The ACC had a large amount of teams go to the NCAA tournament last year. So it’s going to be interesting to see how the [former] Big East teams will compete in the ACC.”


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