The Oregon Ducks are well-renowned for their great crowds. They're loud, boisterous, and the noise always ends up caving on the opposition. When teams on the West Coast discuss the toughest road environment in the West, it inevitably ends up being Autzen Stadium in Eugene that tops the list.
With two weeks left before the Ducks open the season, the UO athletic department has about 5,000 tickets available for fifth-ranked Oregon’s Sept. 1 home game against Arkansas State. Should those go unsold, it would be the first time Autzen wasn’t at or above capacity since Sept. 18, 1999.
Arkansas State is using fewer than 500 in Autzen’s 2,000-seat visiting section, and an additional 3,000 seats are up for grabs for the first three games because students have yet to arrive on campus. The oversupply is compounded by soft demand, presumably the result of a fifth straight year of price increases as Oregon attempts to balance an ever-expanding budget and a nonconference schedule that lacks a marquee opponent.
Obviously the Ducks have misjudged their audience. Because there were constant sell-outs and high demand, the athletic program believed they could keep on hiking up ticket prices ad infitium and not ever have to worry about ticket sales diminishing. Unfortunately, the Ducks athletic department appears to have misjudged the spending power of their audience.
There are still two weeks until the start of the season against Arkansas State, so there's plenty of time to sell 5,000 tickets. But will they be sold in time?