USF season ticket sales up by more than 3,000
For the better part of four years, USF coach Willie Taggart has been reminded that Bulls fans will return to Raymond James Stadium once the team starts winning.
Based on season-ticket sales, that hypothesis is proving true.
The school reported Tuesday 15,842 season tickets have been sold for the 2016 season, in which USF is expected to contend for the American Athletic Conference title. The total is an increase of 3,028 from last season, and represents a 33-percent increase in general-public season ticket sales from '15.
The numbers don't include student tickets distributed. USF students receive tickets as part of their annual fees.
"I tell all of you now, I cannot wait until Saturday night to see what RayJay's gonna look like," Taggart, whose team hosts Towson in Saturday's season opener, said during his weekly press conference Tuesday.
"I can't wait, I'm excited. Ready to see our fan base come out and really show up and show out and show their appreciation for what our guys are doing."
The school also reported an increase in "flex plan" ticket sales of more than 1,600 from last season. That plan allows the purchase of tickets to three of this season's seven home games.
USF's announced average attendance (tickets distributed) was 26,578 last season, but its actual average (turnstile count) was 17,801 according to the Tampa Sports Authority.
But with the program on the uptick -- its 8-5 record in '15 was its first winning season in a half-decade -- and a home date with FSU on Sept. 24, those numbers are almost certain to catapult.
"Everybody talks about Florida State. No, Towson," Taggart said Tuesday. "We're gonna pack RayJay (for) Towson. Mark my words, I believe in the Bulls fans. They're gonna be there."