The strong season ticket sales figures thus far are an indication of the excitement that's building for the 2008 Illinois football season.
July 7, 2008
University of Illinois ticket office officials announced Monday that season ticket sales have topped 40,000 for the first time since 1986. That total includes more than 10,000 Horseshoe "Red Zone" seats and more than 6,000 student season tickets.
"This shows once again that we have some of the best fans in the nation," Illinois Head Coach Ron Zook said. "We have always said that this is their program. I am excited that they are proud of this football program to the point that they are making the commitment to be at Memorial Stadium this fall. I know the guys are working very hard this summer to make this season special, and the idea of a packed stadium gives them more motivation as they go through their summer preparations."
The Horseshoe "Red Zone" seats sold out in 45 minutes in early May, and, in early June, the DIA announced a sellout in the Block I student section, which along with the student ticket base, is housed in the north end zone. Fewer than 3,000 student season tickets remain, as that number will be capped at 10,000 this season. Student season tickets are currently on sale for $77, a special "Red Zone" price named for Illini Pro and College Hall of Famer Harold "Red" Grange.
Fighting Illini fans are encouraged to purchase an orange "Zook Zone" towel to help build energy and create a great home-field advantage at Memorial Stadium. These towels went on sale July 1 and will remain on sale throughout the season. Towels can be found at both Gameday Spirit locations in Champaign for $7, with $1 from the sale of every towel going to help fight cancer through the Coaches vs. Cancer program.
The 2008 home schedule includes six games and begins with the Illinois Renaissance Celebration set for Sept. 6 vs. Eastern Illinois. The home opener will feature appearances by members of the Top 10 Greatest Fighting Illini football players at each position. The remaining five games include Sept. 13 vs. Louisiana-Lafayette; Oct. 11 vs. Minnesota (Homecoming); Oct. 18 vs. Indiana (Foundation Day); Nov. 1 vs. Iowa (Dad's Day); and Nov. 15 vs. Ohio State (Senior Day).
Orders for sideline tickets are being accepted and can be placed online at fightingillini.com, by calling 1-866-ILLINI-1 or by visiting the Athletic Ticket Office at the Assembly Hall.