Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

University of Tulsa Football Season Ticket Sales Up from a Year Ago

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

University of Tulsa Football Season Ticket Sales Up from a Year Ago

Article excerpt

Football season ticket renewal rates at the University of Tulsa are ahead of last year, said Donald Tomkalski, TU associate athletic director for communications.

Season ticket sales are at more than 7,500 seats, up 5 percent from this time a year ago, Tomkalski said.

University of Tulsa Athletics aims to average 23,000 fans per game, Tomkalski said. That figure includes season tickets, group sales, students and individual game tickets.

"With season ticket renewals and new season ticket sales, we're at 93 percent of last year's total season ticket sales," Tomkalski said.

Part of what is driving ticket sales is the momentum from last year, said first-year head coach Bill Blankenship.

"People are excited about the program," Blankenship said. "We are coming off a 10-win season, including a win over Notre Dame, plus wins over Houston at Houston and a win over Hawaii at Hawaii."

The six-game home schedule will be highlighted by a visit from Oklahoma State on Sept. 17. It is the first time the Cowboys have played at Tulsa since the 2000 season.

The TU Golden Hurricane will face the University of North Texas on Oct. 1. Conference USA opponents to visit Chapman Stadium include the University of Houston, Southern Methodist University, the University of Alabama-Birmingham and Marshall University. Dates for the league games haven't been established.

"It is a great home schedule," Blankenship said. "We have OSU, Houston and SMU, which are all big rivalry games."

Blankenship, who coached at Tulsa's Union High School a number of years before jumping to the college ranks, leads a team of 10 returning offensive starters and eight returning defensive starters in his first year as a NCAA Division I head coach.

Also, TU has a preseason All-America pick in Damaris Johnson, who has been named to the first-team GoDaddy.com.

"We have the all-purpose-yardage NCAA record-holder coming back," Blankenship said. "He's the most exciting player in college football today."

The 5-foot-8 senior already holds the NCAA's all-time record for all-purpose yards at 7,796 and the record for kickoff return yards at 3,417.

"Every time he touches the ball this next year he establishes a new record," Tomkalski said. …

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