By Amanda Egbert
The sea of blue to fill Sam Boyd Stadium is growing. Pioneer PureVision Las Vegas Bowl ticket sales show strong Cougar support.
Cougar fans have already claimed more than 11,000 of the 40,000 Sam Boyd Stadium seats since tickets went on sale last week, despite the question of BYU?s opponent in the Las Vegas Bowl.
?The fans? willingness to purchase and make the trip is significant and supportive of the direction of the program,? BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said.
BYU Sports Information Director, Jeff Reynolds believes multiple factors are contributing to the successful ticket sales including the fact that it has been four years since BYU has played in a bowl game, the large alumni fan base considering more than 130,000 LDS Church members live in Las Vegas, the proximity to Provo, and decent weather that has been forecasted.
?We are excited about the fan base, especially when we do not know the second team,? Associate Athletic Director over Communications, Duff Tittle said. ?People are excited [the game] is close.?
The Marriott Center Ticket Office sold out of $50 tickets and has made multiple requests for more $30 tickets beyond the initial 8,000-ticket allotment given to BYU, Reynolds said.
BYU ticket sales have been solid – more than 1,500 were sold over the weekend. Sales remained constant throughout the week, with more than 400 sales on Monday and Tuesday, and another couple hundred on Wednesday, Tittle said.
The Bowl has sold over 21,000 tickets total, marking record sales for the first week of ticket sales in the Bowl?s 14-year history, according to Tittle. This count does not include the tickets that will be sold to the opponent.
Tittle said Bowl officials were ecstatic about the number of tickets sales during a conference call Tuesday.
?The fact that we are over 20,000 a week before inviting the other team is great. We are delighted with what has happened since we invited BYU. We are pleased with turnout from BYU and local supporters. Hopefully this will be the biggest turnout in our bowl history,? Executive Director of the Pioneer PureVision Las Vegas Bowl, Tina Kunzer-Murphy said.
Compared with ticket sales from the Liberty Bowl in 2001, there will be significantly more support present for the Cougars. Tittle recalls that there were approximately 5,000 tickets sold to BYU fans in 2001. Distance and difficulty of getting into the bowl were contributing factors in lower sales.
Currently there is no concern of running out of tickets; there are still plenty of seats and opportunities to buy and sit with BYU. At least 600 student tickets are still available for purchase, Tittle said.
The easiest way for Cougar fans can expand the sea of blue is by purchasing tickets at the Marriott Center Ticket Office (801) 422-2981 or online at BYUtickets.com.
?I am encouraged and appreciative,? Mendenhall said. ?It shows that [fans] simply acknowledge the direction the program is going and that they know they are apart of it.?