Something interesting is happening up north. Apparently Cal is at risk of losing home field advantage against Fresno State in its season opener:
Cal's neutral-site season opener against Fresno State at Candlestick Park is beginning to look like a Bulldogs home game.
According to the latest figures, Fresno State's ticket office has sold 12,000 tickets whereas Cal has sold only 7,500. It's harder to keep tabs on tickets sold through other outlets such as StubHub, but Bulldogs fans seem to be scooping up tickets at a much brisker rate than Cal enthusiasts.
"In general, I think everyone is having a little more of a challenge selling tickets than we had hoped," Cal associate athletic director Matt Terwilliger said. "We are really hoping that volume picks up. We typically see a surge toward the end."
Cal and Fresno State teamed up with two independent promoters to put on the game. Each school gets a revenue guarantee based on a predetermined allotment of tickets sold. The promoter keeps all the other operating revenue for the event.
Fresno State easily sold its allotment of 10,000 tickets. Cal has had difficulty selling their share for number of reasons which was detailed at SB Nation Bay Area. What is cool though is Cal athletic director being pro-active about addressing the situation:
Cal's lagging sales prompted athletic director Sandy Barbour to send a mass email to supporters last week, imploring them not only to buy tickets but also to make sure they buy them through Cal.
"I am challenging our Cal community to surpass Fresno State for fan support in attendance and tickets sold," Barbour wrote in the email. "I just can't imagine that our community would allow Fresno to come to the Bay Area and outnumber us at Candlestick Park on Sept. 3. I know we won't let that be the case."
Cal’s proactive approach to ensure that the Bears have a home-field advantage is certainly different from the one UCLA took back in 2008, when it took out a quarter-page ad in the Fresno Bee trying to fill out the Rose Bowl with Bull Dog fans. Achilles at the time like many BNers was "at al loss of words" when that story came out.
The situation above is also interesting because our hoops team will be in somewhat similar situation this year as we are going to have games at the Sports Arena. It will be interesting to see how proactive UCLA is going to be ensuring that the Bruins have a home court advantage at our temporary "home."
To their credit in terms of transportation issues the Morgan Center is already making some arrangements for students and others who may want to get there from Westwood. But imagine the Bruins are going to have to be really vigilant if they want to ensure that there is a really home court advantage during what will most likely be a crucial bridge season to a potential dream year in 2012-13.