Wednesday, October 02, 2002

UC ticket sales will measure interest


Timing, rival right for Nippert sellout

By Michael Perry mperry@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Athletic director Bob Goin and coach Rick Minter are about to learn more about the fan base for University of Cincinnati football. If ever there was a time Nippert Stadium should fill up to watch the Bearcats, Saturday might be it.

        Why?

        The opponent is longtime rival Miami University, which is to the football team what Xavier is to the men's basketball team.

        • The Bearcats' last “home” game was the thrilling loss to then-No.6 Ohio State at Paul Brown Stadium. Athletic department officials hope some of those in the stands Sept. 21 feel like they saw a good product and want to continue supporting it.

        • UC is nothing if not exciting. The Bearcats have rallied twice for victories and had both losses come down to the final seconds.

        • Miami and Cincinnati have exciting young quarterbacks (sophomores Ben Roethlisberger and Gino Guidugli) and typically high-scoring offenses.

        • It is the first home game since the UC students are back on campus.

        • The Bengals stink. The Reds' season is over, and basketball hasn't started yet.

        • It's not on TV.

        “The moon and the stars are lined up,” Goin said.

        Just as the Ohio State game was a measuring stick for the program, he said, this game will be a measuring stick for fan support.

        “Does it mean that we throw the towel in if we don't have 30,000 people here? No,” he said. “I'm not going to panic. Then we're going to say we have other stuff we've got to do.”

        In its previous five games at Nippert against Miami, there have been average crowds of 25,993, including two of more than 30,000 (2000, 1996).

        “I've always said, if this wants to be known as one of the best rivalries in college football, why isn't there standing room only all the time?” Minter said “Everybody should want a ticket to see this warfare, and I hope that's what develops for both schools.

        “If this thing's done right, maybe someday this could be a game that merits Paul Brown Stadium.”

        Nippert holds 35,000. UC averaged 27,162 for home games against TCU and West Virginia.

        Ticket manager Meagan Kantor expects a similar size crowd. She said 18,500 tickets have been sold for Saturday; 4,000 to 5,000 students are expected; and the first two games at Nippert each had walk-up crowds of about 4,000.

        There are signs of increased interest. The Monday after UC's 23-19 loss to Ohio State, the phones were ringing as soon as they were turned on, Kantor said. That was unusual for a non-home-game week.

        And two days ago, the ticket office sold 100 student guest passes; 10 to 12 are usually sold per day during the week of a home game.

        “I'm expecting us to be bombarded this week,” Kantor said. “The students being back is the biggest thing we've got working for us. And it's Parents Weekend. Of course, it should be sold out. It's just a matter of getting people here.”

        Goin, athletic director at Florida State from 1989-94, said the Ohio State game showed the city of Cincinnati a big-time college football atmosphere.

        Despite the loss, he said, it was good for Cincinnati and the football program.

        “I think that game ought to show the city that there's a university in the city that merits their attention, that's both the media and the public,” Goin said. “Our people have earned a right to have 35,000 at Nippert every game.”

        Said Minter: “It doesn't matter who we play, come out and support us. We're entertaining. Trust me.”

       



Bearcats Stories
- UC ticket sales will measure interest
Huggins resting comfortably
UC gets high grade from graduates

Bengals' defensive numbers numbing
Bengals E-Mail Q&A: Early draft talk about Leftwich
Bengals Notebook: Rookie tackle signed
Colts' sellout string could end
Colts have tight end troubles, too
NFL Notebook: Marijuana adds to Moss' woes
Reds host Pirates on Opening Day
Reds 2003 schedule
Cardinals 12, Diamondbacks 2
Yankees 8, Angels 5
Twins 7, Athletics 5
Mets, Rangers fire managers
Masters tennis likely to stay in Mason
College Football Notebook: Clarett pushes Ross out
Pacers open camp at Xavier
Elder, Kings still lead football polls
Ohio Football Computer Ratings
Difficult schedule benefits No. 1 Dixie
No. 1 St. Ursula tops No. 2 Ursuline again
St. Henry can't keep up with Assumption
Heile, Carling sectional golf medalists
Boys golf results
Boys soccer results
Girls golf results
Girls soccer results
Girls tennis results
Girls volleyball results


Mail This Story (Click here) Send this story to a friend.

 
NEXT GAME
vs. South Florida (3-4)
• 1:00 p.m. Sat. Nov. 20
• Nippert Stadium
• Radio: WLW-AM 700

FOOTBALL

Paterno Won't Coach Penn St.-Temple Game

Paterno Won't Go to Penn St.-Temple Game

Spurrier Shadow Looms Large in Florida

No. 15 Rutgers Bracing for Historic Game

Hurricanes Stunned by Teammate's Murder

THE BIG EAST
Big East logo
UC joins Big East
• A special section of complete coverage, as the UC Bearcats join one of the nation's elite sports conferences.

MEN'S BASKETBALL

Terps Sign Gary Williams Through 2010-11

Bob Knight Approaches Winning Milestone

Buckeyes' Oden Content to Wait for NBA

Larranaga Enjoy Spoils of Final Four Run

Hansbrough Leads AP's All-America Team

AP's Preseason All-America Team

Gators Runaway Preseason No. 1 in Poll

Gators Return Starters to Defend Title

Texas Tech's Jackson Returns to Practice

Sutton Released From Hospital in Okla.

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

Paris Headlines AP's All-America Team

ACC New Powerhouse in Women's Basketball

Maryland Tops AP Women's Basketball Poll