A few days ago we talked about Wisconsin basketball and how the Badgers sold out their student tickets in a mere 12 minutes. While it may be a slower process, Minnesota is looking to follow suit this season.
In 2016-17 a resurgent Gophers team many pegged for the bottom of the conference made an unexpected run to the postseason. The much improved Minnesota program saw attendance numbers that put them 37th in the nation, though that was only good enough for 11th in the conference.
So far it looks like Minnesota’s attendance will be even better in 2017-18.
As reported by the Star Tribune, Minnesota has already sold more than 9,200 season tickets so far, around 1,000 more than they did last year. While they haven’t officially sold out their student season tickets, only a couple hundred (possibly less by now) tickets remain and it’s only a matter of time before the Gophers sell out their student allotment.
If the Gophers do sell out their student tickets, it will be the first time since the 2014-15 season. With Minnesota making considerable improvements last season, it does make sense that fan interest is rapidly increasing.
“The excitement for this upcoming season is high, and we’re so appreciative of our loyal fans who have signed on to be a part of it at the Barn,” said head coach Richard Pitino. “We want to build on last year’s success and continue elevating our program, and we can’t do it without our fans giving us a great home court advantage.”
Just one year ago many people expected Minnesota to land at the bottom of the Big Ten. The Gophers were coming off of an eight win season and had only made the NCAA Tournament once over the last six seasons. An unexpected turnaround, however, saw the Gophers finish fourth in the Big Ten, win 24 games and reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time under Pitino.
The recent success has increased expectations considerably, with preseason publications calling for Minnesota to finish somewhere between second and fourth in the Big Ten. While Michigan State is the consensus to win the conference, the Gophers are grouped with Purdue and Northwestern as the next best three teams.
Minnesota went 17-3 last year at Williams Arena, with their only three losses coming against Michigan State, Wisconsin and Maryland by a combined 10 points, with the former two losses coming in overtime.
The Gophers will look to build off of last year’s success and take advantage of their home court as they look to compete at the top of the Big Ten this winter.