Deep dive: Virginia football season ticket sales
The sparse crowds at Scott Stadium for the first two Virginia football games of the 2021 season prompted a question from a reader about how season ticket sales had gone for UVA Athletics heading into the season.
The answer: actually quite well, relatively speaking.
A contact in media relations told us that around 29,000 season tickets had been sold for the 2021 season, up about 5,000 from the 24,265 season tickets sold for the 2019 season.
For reference, North Carolina reported a season-ticket sellout for 2021 as it did for 2019, when the school reported 28,400 season tickets sold.
A West Virginia University release touted 23,000 season ticket sales for 2021.
A Clemson release put the number there over 57,000.
So, we’re not Clemson or LSU, but we’re close to our peers like Carolina and WVU, and we’re doing better than we’d been doing in previous years.
Sales at UVA were no doubt boosted by two high-profile November games on the home schedule: Notre Dame on Nov. 13 and Virginia Tech on Nov. 27.
The fans haven’t come out in droves correlating to the sales numbers quite yet. The Week 1 home opener with William & Mary drew 42,982, and the Week 2 game with Illinois drew just 36,036.
It didn’t help that the Illinois game had an 11 a.m. start to accommodate broadcast on the ACC Network.
Virginia averaged 47,863 fans for its 2019 home schedule, after three straight years in the 39,000+ range.
The capacity at Scott Stadium is 61,500.
The last time we saw anything at or near capacity was the 2011 season finale with Virginia Tech, which had 61,124 fans on hand for a 38-0 Hokies win.
The 2008 season opener with Southern Cal had a stadium-record 64,947 fans in attendance.
Assuming a decent place in terms of our public health situation come November, we could see a number approaching 60,000 for one or both of the Notre Dame and Tech games.
I base that supposition on how average attendance from 2016-2019 was roughly double the season ticket sales numbers for those years.
Because of the slow start through two games, we won’t get there in terms of average attendance, but the 29,000 number suggests we could get in the neighborhood of 60,000.
Story by Chris Graham