Student tickets upped to 12,000
In response to strong student turnout at USF's home opener against Elon, the Bulls have taken a big step to allow a greater student presence at Raymond James Stadium, bumping the student section up from 8,000 seats to 12,000 seats.
"Our students support and interest is off the charts and that is why we made the decision to allocate 12,000 seats for students for the rest of the season," senior associate athletics director Bill McGillis said in a statement. "We had 8,600 for the opener and there is no question those numbers will grow. Student attendance is critical because they bring a level of energy, spirit and tradition that is unrivaled. Our intent is to have the largest student section in the Big East and we will."
USF students are allowed one free ticket to each home game, and now the first 8,000 students to pick up their tickets will get a wristband giving them access to the south end zone. There are now 4,000 new upper-level seats in sections 302-306 available for spillover from the end-zone seats. Companion tickets ($16 in advance, $21 on game day) are still available and will count toward the 12,000-seat total.
The news comes three days before USF's home game against North Carolina, with another huge game looming on Sept. 28 against No. 5 West Virginia. USF expects a crowd of about 40,000 for UNC, but the West Virginia game could draw 60,000 or more, easily breaking USF's home attendance record.
"We have always had the best student section in the BIG EAST," quarterback Matt Grothe said in a statement. "The more it grows, the more it will help us on the field."