USF Bulls football's season-ticket sales are down for the third year in a row, with about 1,000 fewer sold for the 2011 season than this time a year ago for a drop of about 5 percent.
According to USF executive associate athletic director Bill McGillis, the Bulls have sold 17,580 season tickets through Tuesday, and with another 3,143 tickets reserved for staff, spirit squads and trade with sponsors, USF's total stands at 20,723, down from 21,760 a year ago. Because the Bulls open the 2011 season at Notre Dame, USF has an extra week of ticket sales before the home opener Sept. 10 against Ball State.
USF's all-time high for season tickets came in 2008 with 27,879 tickets, and as the nation's economic problems heightened, that number dropped 13 percent to a final count of 24,185 for the 2009 season. McGillis said USF's group ticket sales are well ahead of last year's pace, an encouraging sign for the final month before the season starts.
If USF can find success on the field this season, the schedule lends itself to big crowds late in the season -- the Bulls have seven home games and finish the regular season with three straight at Raymond James Stadium: Miami, Louisville and West Virginia. The final game could have the Big East championship on the line, and USF's 2007 game against West Virginia was the program's first sellout at Raymond James Stadium.