Ho-hum Homecoming: Why aren't U students fired up for the big game?

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It's the University of Minnesota's 100th annual Homecoming celebration, and the Gopher football team is surging as it heads into the Saturday morning game with Big Ten rival Purdue.

But the Star Tribune reports that's apparently not enough to get many students to actually buy a ticket to watch the action on the field at TCF Stadium.

Published as the weekend of activities begins, the Star Tribune story says "there is head-scratching about why the school has trouble filling the stadium’s student section."

It goes on to say that before the season began, the university officials sold packages that boosted student season-ticket sales for football to 5,043. That's slightly more than half of the 10,000 seats allotted for students.

The Minnesota Daily, the campus newspaper, notes that a Friday night Homecoming concert quickly sold out of its 10,000 seats. The concert features rapper Iggy Azalea and Walk the Moon.

The Star Tribune notes that many colleges and universities are struggling to attract students to their football games. Some students complain about the cost of the $20 ticket, and others say they prefer to watch the game on their own big-screen televisions. The story also noted many students stop by the stadium to be in the stands for an abbreviated portion of the game, but don't commit to the full experience.

The Minnesota Daily noted there will be an enhanced law enforcement presence around campus this weekend to keep an eye on the crowd of students and alumni. University Deputy Police Chief Chuck Miner told the paper he expects some isolated arrests, likely for alcohol-related incidents. Over last year’s homecoming weekend, UMPD officers made at least 11 alcohol-related arrests.

Related

U of M struggles getting students to Gopher games

The University of Minnesota is struggling to reverse the trend of getting students interested in going to Gopher football games. The Star Tribune reports that student season ticket sales have steadily declined since the 50,800-seat TCF Bank Stadium opened three years ago -- from 10,000 in the first year to 7,800 in the second. This year, just two weeks before the season opener, only 2,000 have been sold.

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