Bob Bradlee

Get the Max with Minium: ODU's First Home Game with Virginia Tech is Officially a Sellout

September 18, 2018
By ODU Athletics

By Harry Minium

NORFOLK, Va. - Shortly after Old Dominion’s football sellout streak ended, another has begun.

ODU officials announced Tuesday morning that Saturday’s home game with Virginia Tech sold out, and that it did so without putting any single-game tickets on sale. All tickets went to ODU season-ticket holders and students, in addition to the nearly 2,000 sold by Virginia Tech.

The sellout is not a big surprise, given that the Hokies have a huge fan following in Hampton Roads and this will be the first time Tech will play ODU at Foreman Field at S. B. Ballard Stadium.

But even if it’s no surprise, it’s a bit of welcome news after ODU’s sellout streak ended at 60 on Sept. 8, when the Monarchs hosted FIU in their home opener.

ODU announced a crowd of 19,243. The 20,118-seat stadium had otherwise been sold out for every home game ODU played.

While that was a blow to the ego of Monarch nation, there is encouraging news in ODU’s ticket sales.

ODU sold 12,525 season tickets, the most in three seasons. Athletic director Wood Selig had predicted an upsurge in sales because of what he called “The Virginia Tech affect.”

Jason Chandler, associate athletic director for marketing and revenue generation, said ODU also sold nearly 1,200 mini plans, in which fans could pick any three games for $120. ODU had planned to sell about 500 mini plans, but were surprised by the demand.

“Most of the mini plans were sold over a two-week period, and that’s a lot of tickets to go in just two weeks. Tickets were flying out of here,” Chandler said.

The mini plans included Virginia Tech, with fans allowed to pick any other two games. ODU’s home game with Marshall (Oct. 13) was the choice 70 percent of those on the mini plan. Fifty percent picked ODU’s home game with VMI on Nov. 17, the last game at Foreman Field before much of the stadium undergoes a massive renovation.

ODU plans to spend $65 million to tear down the stands on the east and west sides and replace them with more modern and larger seating. The stadium will also have a new press box and updated restroom and concessions facilities.

The new stadium will open, Aug 31, 2019, when the Monarchs host Norfolk State.

Students purchased a record 621 guest tickets for the Tech game, above and beyond the free tickets students are allowed to claim. At $55 a ticket, that will generate more than $34,000 in revenue.

Students claimed their full allotment of free tickets for the Hokies in less than three hours. That is a big contrast to the FIU game, in which students failed to pick up nearly 900 tickets.

Selig acknowledged that Tech will have a lot more than 2,000 fans there. “So many of our fans are also Virginia Tech fans,” he said.

Tech fans have been active on the secondary ticket markets, including stubhub.com and vividseats.com. On Tuesday morning, it appeared that a little more than 150 tickets were available, topping out at $335 apiece. The cheapest tickets were $89 and were largely in the end zone.

The face value of tickets is $55.

Virginia Tech (2-0), ranked 10th nationally in the coaches’ poll and 13th by the Associated Press, is the highest-ranked FBS team to play at ODU. The Hokies are 28-point favorites over ODU (0-3).

ODU fans have been asked to wear white. ODU coach Bobby Wilder said he hopes to see a lot more white than maroon and orange.

“We really need the home field advantage this week,” he said. “Our kids really need to feel the crowd’s energy.”

The 3:30 game will be nationally televised by the CBS Sports Network, Conference USA’s primary TV partner.

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