Will final USF-UCF game be a tough ticket?
USF's four-year series with Central Florida wraps up this season with a Sept. 6 game at the Knights' new stadium in Orlando, but tickets could be hard to come by for Bulls fans.
UCF sent out a release Monday, stating that single-game tickets for the USF-UCF game would not be available to the general public, so the only current way to get tickets for the game is buying purchasing UCF season tickets, which start at $210 for six games. UCF associate athletic director Joe Hornstein said UCF season-ticket holders will be allowed to purchase additional tickets, likely sometime next month, but only season-ticket holders would have access to those tickets. Hornstein said there were no plans in place to sell the USF-UCF game as part of a smaller mini-plan package.
That makes USF's allotment for the game, believed to be 4,000 tickets, the simplest option for Bulls fans, and USF plans to start selling away-game tickets later this week. It's unknown whether UCF would grant USF an additional allotment if the first batch sells out, but UCF is as close a road game as the Bulls will ever play.
Despite winning Conference USA last season, UCF hasn't seen the same jump in season ticket sales as USF has seen. The Bulls are about 6,000 tickets ahead of last year's pace, while a story in Wednesday's Orlando Sentinel reports that UCF is 451 tickets ahead of last year. Florida State, for comparison's sake, is actually down 6 percent from last year, according to the Sentinel.
USF coach Jim Leavitt and UCF coach George O'Leary will both be in Tampa on Thursday to speak at the Florida Sports Writers Association's annual preseason football media gathering, which should generate new interest in the final game in this four-game series. USF won the first three meetings, including a 64-12 win in Tampa last season.
For what it's worth, USF-UCF tickets are readily available on online ticket site Stubhub.com, with pairs of seats priced as low as $59 each. When I checked the site Wednesday afternoon, there were 47 tickets available for $80 or less.
-- NFL news, as Jagnation.com is reporting that former USF cornerback Trae Williams, a fifth-round pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars, has signed a four-year contract worth $2.175-million, including a signing bonus of $168,000. The site reports that Williams is competing with fourth-year veterans Scott Starks and Gerald Sensabaugh for the starting nickel job. The Florida Times-Union reports the bonus "in the $170,000 range," then says Williams was USF's all-time career interceptions leader.