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Football season ticket renewals spike, Unconquered campaign hits $100 million

Florida State football season ticket sales have spiked dramatically with a 66 percent renewal rate since they went on sale on Feb. 1. By comparison, FSU’s renewal rate was roughly 35 percent in Feb. 2020.

The numbers are encouraging as fans have embraced a home schedule that will feature Notre Dame and Miami as well as other ACC schools like Louisville, NC State and Syracuse.

Other news from the FSU Athletic Association meeting on Thursday:

The Unconquered Campaign has surpassed the $100 million mark in pledges as part of a fund-raising effort for football, baseball, softball and scholarships. It’s not clear what amount has already been received as part of the multi-year campaign.

Seminole Boosters Inc. CEO Michael Alford said he is pleased with the recent fund-raising push. Alford arrived at FSU on Sept. 1 and the boosters have since added thousands of new members. He has had “hustle boards” installed around the boosters’ office that measure individual and team goals and is encouraged with the early numbers from 2021 — for example, coaches’ clubs fundraising is at 78 percent of its goal.

Athletics director David Coburn said a full financial update is to come in Friday’s Board of Trustees meeting. “Our projected deficit is continuing to go up,” Coburn said. He cited a lack of ticket sales, particularly in the Champions Club, in the 2020 football season. 

“We’re continuing to try to cut expenses,” Coburn added. Most athletics department staff has taken or will take two weeks’ furlough and some higher-salary staff members may take one or two additional weeks of furlough, Coburn said. 

Coburn stated he thinks the NCAA will approve the one-time transfer provision, likely by April. Of concern is the high number of players who go in the portal and the number of spots that are available. He compared it to a game of “musical chairs with far fewer chairs than players.”

Coburn also commented on the extension of the NCAA’s dead period, which now runs through May 31, “much to coach Norvell’s chagrin.”

A few interesting comments by president John Thrasher, who stated new commissioner Jim Phillips will be “tasked immediately with working on the TV contract.” He also said Phillips is looking into moving the ACC’s headquarters from Greensboro, N.C. A decision “could come in the very near future,” Thrasher said.

Design firm Populous will study future Doak Campbell Stadium renovations as well as evaluate the fan experience.