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Des Moines, Iowa


Hawkeye fans and Iowa State Football Ticket Policy

Geoff Wood

I'm a big fan of Iowa State AD Jamie Pollard, the changes he's brought about in Ames, and the changes that he'll continue to implement over the next few years.

The most highly publicized change has to do with the football ticket policy this fall, where Jamie decided that to maximize revenues he would not sell single game tickets to the Iowa State-Iowa game to anyone(1).

The policy is not hard to understand (at least to rational thinkers). Jamie realizes that the Iowa State-Iowa game will the most popular this year (among 'Clone fans and not) and by not selling single game tickets he's forcing Cyclone fans to get off the fence and pony up for season tickets if they're going to see the big game. That's it - it's not complex. Season football tickets are the big money maker for any Division 1 program and Iowa State needs a respectable number of those to be able to achieve the facilities (not to mention championship) milestones that have been laid out over the next few years.

Now for a couple questions:

How does this affect Iowa fans?

Who cares? Nah, really it doesn't affect them in the least. Non-Cyclone donors (read: Iowa fans) haven't been able buy tickets to this game through ISU for at least the last four years. In each of those games all non-season tickets seats were purchased by those donors. The donors may have sold them to their Iowa buddies but that's the only way they could have obtained one (other than become Cyclone donors - which is still an option).

Oh yeah, and their school gets the 4000 tickets that they've contracted for and Iowa fans may buy them at their leisure. Won't the top Hawkeye donors buy them up before Joe Hawkeye can get them? Perhaps, but that policy is no different than in years past and at least note they still had plenty available(1).

Will it work?

We won't know for sure until gameday on September 15th but every indication is that Mr. Pollard knew what he was doing. Individual receipts from that one day may be down over past years (and it will most likely not sell out - something that also upsets the locals) but the increase in season ticket sales should have a tremendous financial upside. For a real life anecdote, it convinced us to buy four season tickets rather the our usual two (plus two single game tickets).

What will the increase be?

To early to tell but with more than a month to go we've sold 4000 more over last year's all time record - that nearly 35,000 season tickets in a stadium with a seated capacity of just over 45,000.

In other words, this really has nothing to do with Iowa fans - despite what you hear in the Tall Corn State.

Now, to the reason that I started this post. For last several years I've frequented a Cyclone online community at This ticket policy and the Iowa fans lack of understanding(2) has become and inside, recurring joke on that message board and this morning they put a thread together that is the colloquial equivalent of the "Chuck Norris Facts"(3) that were so popular over the last few years, in general a list of "facts" or things that have had the policy explained to them and were able to understand (though Hawkeye fans could not)

Here's the list (in chronoligical order) that made me chuckle in the middle of a stressful day:

  • I teach PE at an elementary school and I explained the policy to some of my fifth graders in April. They understood it. Hawk fans still don't.
  • My wife has quite a collection of tropical plants. I explained the ticket policy in detail to them. They understood it.
  • Last week I explained the ticket policy to a rock and he(?) understood it.
  • After explaining it to my cat he upped his NCC donation and wanted season tickets.
  • I explained JP's ticket policy to my foot fungus, no questions there; it understood
  • I discussed the plan with my three teenage boys and they didn't even argue.
  • I explained the ticket policy to a brick in the wall of my house and it understood completely.
  • Was it a special brick, or was it just another brick in the wall?
  • It was a an uneducated brick, that was not allowed any pudding
  • ...waiting for my kebob today I explained the ticket policy to the pakistani dude...he said, go cyclones (and understood)...
  • Last week I explained the ticket situation to Reggie Evans, but he didn't get it.
  • I explained the ticket policy to an amoeba - you know an amoeba, a single celled microbe without a brain. It didn't understand the policy. It just crawled away humming the Iowa fight song.

Now, I've explained the ticket policy to the people that read my blog (and they get it).

(1)Including the local representative government (Mr. Pollard has stones, that's for sure). (2)I won't begin to quote the Hawkeye fans rick-diculous statements about the policy. (3) One of my faves: "When the Boogeyman goes to sleep every night, he checks his closet for Chuck Norris."