By Cody Soto
With the success of head coach Art Briles and No. 10 Baylor over the past few years, ticket sales have increased dramatically, because of both fans and students.
Over 8,500 students claimed their tickets to Aug. 31’s football game against SMU in less than one hour last Sunday. Many students experienced server issues, and in turn, were unable to reserve seats for the first game in McLane Stadium.
Only 10 years ago, the average attendance for a home game was 30,586 people. Last year, Baylor averaged 45,948 fans in the last season at Floyd Casey Stadium.
While this new system is creating mixed feelings, Baylor football players are excited to play for a sold-out crowd in their inaugural game at McLane Stadium.
Senior quarterback Bryce Petty was with one of the students who were trying to get a ticket and saw how difficult it was to reserve a seat at Sunday’s game.
“I’m not an IT guy, but I think that means that there were a lot of people trying to get tickets, so that’s huge for us,” Petty said.
Baylor will likely play in front of a sold-out crowd during every home game this season. Petty says that it is motivation for the team to perform well with a record number of fans every game.
“[The ticket sell-outs] are a true testament to the hype and support that we’ve got over the last couple of years, and so now we’re at an all-time high,” Petty said. “We want to put out for you guys. We want to show out for you guys. It’s a blessing to be a part of this.”
Senior wide receiver Levi Norwood says that students should always be fighting for tickets.
“At any big time football school, that’s how it is, people rushing and talking about it in class how they’re mad that they couldn’t get tickets,” Norwood said. “I feel bad for them, but that’s how it’s supposed to be. People are supposed to be excited about us playing football, and having students and fans like that makes you excited as a player.”
With the record amount of ticket sales both from fans and students, the game day atmosphere at McLane Stadium will be phenomenal, according to Briles.
“Quite honestly, we have had as good as an atmosphere as you would want to have,” Briles said. “We got what we got, so we need to be the best at it. That is what we need to do as a university, as a fan base and as a team. They gave us the best, and now we need to take full advantage and responsibility of it.”
Baylor will face SMU in McLane Stadium at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday. The game will be nationally televised on Fox Sports 1.