Football fans brought in extra $50,000 for SEMO

Friday, December 3, 2010

As the Southeast Missouri State University football team kept winning, this season's crowds at Houck Stadium kept growing.

Average attendance at this season's five home games was 8,342, an increase of more than 2,500 from last year's average attendance.

More fans also meant more revenue for the university's athletic department, according to athletic director John Shafer.

The university raked in an additional $25,000 in ticket sales and $25,000 in concession sales compared to the 2009 season despite having one fewer home game this year.

The school also broke a record for attendance at a single game during its Homecoming match Oct. 30 against Tennessee Martin. A total of 11,126 people attended that game.

Students accounted for much of the increased attendance, Shafer said. However, students are admitted to games at no charge.

"The students really picked up their attendance this year. The side across from the press box was just jammed with students every game," Shafer said.

While the university sold more tickets and concessions, it also had additional expenses associated with managing the crowds.

"As the crowds grew ,we had to work to protect the integrity of the game and make sure we had enough hot dogs and ice," Shafer said.

More security staff, ticket takers, concession workers and custodians were hired this season, Shafer said.

Some of the additional money the team generated this year will be used to help cover its postseason playoff expenses, including purchasing winter gear for the team to play this weekend at Eastern Washington.

"Thank goodness we had the fan support to take care of these extra expenses," Shafer said.

mmiller@semissourian.com

388-3646

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