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Post Contributions take a hit

Thursday February 19, 2009

A rough accounting of the Hartman Fund contributions reveals that the total will be off by about 11%, or about $3 million, from last year’s record high. Blame the economy, the “disappointing” 2008 season and comparatively low expectations for 2009, or any other factor you like. The athletic department should be just fine – ticket and TV money aren’t going anywhere (yet), and there are strong cash reserves built up just in case.

Just from anecdotal evidence, people I’ve talked to are more likely to have donated the minimum necessary for their season ticket renewal. In years past many people would add to their contribution in order to build up their cumulative total for out-of-town tickets. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that reduction or elimination of that extra donation is behind a good bit of the lower bottom line this year.

For those hoping that the downturn will free up some more season tickets, there will still be competition. Associate AD Alan Thomas expects a return to a more normal season ticket turnover of about 2 or 3%. Over a season ticket base of 53,000, that’s only about 1,000-1,600 season tickets that will come available.

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