UI Expects 20,000 or More Hawk Fans to Descend on Tampa
Dec. 18, 2008
IOWA CITY, Iowa - University of Iowa officials expect at least 20,000 fans of the Iowa Hawkeyes to be inside Raymond James Stadium when Coach Kirk Ferentz's squad lines up on New Year's Day in the 2009 Outback Bowl.
The UI Athletics Department continues to fill orders for tickets to Iowa's game against South Carolina in the Sunshine State at a steady pace from season ticket holders and non-season ticket holders alike. That pace has allowed the UI to surpass its first obligation to the Outback Bowl - each participating team accepts responsibility for 11,000 game tickets when it accepts the invitation to play in the game.
"As always, our goal is to build the largest `Hawkeye presence' as possible. We do that through maximizing the number of tickets we sell knowing that plenty of our fans will purchase their game tickets from a source other than the UI," said Pam Finke, the UI's director of ticket operations.
Finke said it's a combination of anecdotal evidence -comments from fans, bowl tour organizers, members of the bowl organizing committee and others - and data from ticket retailers like Ticketmaster and the bowl site itself and the feedback the UI receives from the area's convention and visitor's bureau staff, for example, that gives her a sense of what number of black-and-gold fanatics will be in Tampa for Iowa's fifth New Year's Day bowl game in the last eight seasons.
"Our first confirmation of what the facts and our instincts are telling us will come a couple days after Christmas when the fans who are travelling by car or van start arriving. Then, of course, it's the annual Hawkeye Huddle - our open-to-every fan pep rally," she said.
Finke said that orders for tickets now are coming from fans who aren't season tickets holders and Iowans who now live in Florida or are vacationing there over the Christmas and New Year's holidays.
"We have a rather large number of contributors and other friends of the University who spend the winter months in Florida and we're hearing from those folks on a daily basis. We're also getting calls from I-Club and Iowa Club members up and down the east coast who are going to be in the area over the holidays," she explained.
Fans of the Iowa Hawkeyes who live in the Heartland or in the Sunshine State or in all points between should note that the UI Athletics Ticket Office is accepting ticket orders for the 2009 Outback Bowl. Click here to purchase your tickets online. Fans can also purchase over the phone by calling 1-800 IA-HAWKS or over-the-counter at the UI Athletics Ticket Office in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.