Raise the roof: Basketball season ticket sales on the rise

The move to Division I has brought many positive changes to Northern Kentucky University, as the Norse Athletic Club (NAC) has found this year with basketball season ticket sales higher than ever. Fans are excited to buy tickets to watch a Division I team play at the Bank of Kentucky Center.

According to Alicia Lawrence, coordinator of development for the NAC, they have focused on gradual growth of ticket sales, promoting the move to Division I while still maintaining the tight community feel that season ticket holders have always enjoyed.

Each new ticket holder is able to come in and meet with Lawrence personally. She gives them a tour of the facilities including more exclusive areas, something most fans are not permitted.

Another perk of being a season ticket holder at NKU is that the tickets are hand-delivered by Lawrence herself. Because most of the members are local, Lawrence is able to drive to their house and ensure they not only receive their tickets but are also greeted by a friendly face to show them how much the Norse Athletic Club appreciates their loyalty.

Season ticket holders appreciate these personal touches too. Lawrence spent the better part of one morning delivering tickets to faculty around campus accompanied by Victor E. Viking. Ray Mirizzi, director of operations and maintenance, was pleasantly surprised when Victor burst into his office to deliver his tickets.
“I’ve never had this happen before,” Mirizzi said.

A new season ticket holder this season, Mirizzi said the move to Division I played a part in his decision to buy tickets for the first time. “I was excited about the change, I wanted to be part of the D-I community.”

The NAC has seen many season ticket holders come back this year after not buying in previous years. This was the first year they have offered faculty and staff pricing and sold out all of the courtside seats.

Lawrence pointed out that the NAC is looking for growth in sales this year, and many years to come. When the BOKC opened in 2008, season ticket sales peaked sharply, only to steadily decline in the following years.

“We’ll get progressively more active with promoting it (ticket sales); but for right now we want to focus on growing gradually,” Lawrence explained. “We want our growth to be sustained.”
Rather than raise prices for the Norse’s first Division I season, they chose to lower them this year in concurrence with the schedule which features fewer home games. Lawrence explained how this allows them to bring in more people this year, but also focus on targeting larger numbers of season ticket holders each year as they are able to accommodate them. Prices will rise as the number of home games does.