Getting fans into the stadium on Saturdays can sometimes be a challenge for teams not named Alabama, Texas, Ohio State, Florida State, etc. When you aren’t a traditionally great football program, fans don’t always line up to actually go to the games after tailgating. To curb this problem, schools are starting to offer incentives for their students. For example, SMU will now sell beer inside its stadium at games and the University of Iowa will offer a raffle that includes free tuition, along with other prizes.
Students can begin ordering season tickets on August 1, and they will all be automatically entered into the raffle to win prizes. The school will hand out 11 total prizes, and five lucky students will win free tuition for the 2014-15 school year. The other prizes include a watch party inside the press box during an away game (yawn), $500 in free books (only to be sold back for $1 apiece at the end of the semester), and four $1,000 gift cards to the Hy-Vee grocery store (presumably to spend solely on frozen pizza and beer).
Gary Barta, Iowa’s director of athletics, says the initiative is an effort to get students inside the stadium to cheer on the Hawkeyes…to another 6-8 win season.
“We want students in Kinnick Stadium, and the staff has spent the year listening and planning ways to increase the fun and excitement. A loud and active student section is such an important part of the game day experience.”
Students can choose from two different season ticket options: a six-game option, which keeps them from watching Nebraska clobber the Hawkeyes in person, or a seven-game option, which includes every home game.
Personally, you’d have to give me free tuition in order to watch one–let alone six or seven–Big Ten games.