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Recent success by Gophers bringing fans back to TCF Bank Stadium

Updated: November 08, 2019 06:16 PM

Fans are getting pumped for Saturday's big matchup between the University of Minnesota and Penn State football teams. 

The stakes are high for both teams who are undefeated.

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The University of Minnesota says they haven't seen a sellout at TCF Bank Stadium since 2015, but Saturday's game is already sold out. 

"It's going to be crazy, it's sold out," said Abby Yost, a freshman at the U of M. 

"They had so many down years and it's great to see them finally have a team that's competing," said Dennis Levine, who graduated from the U of M in 1966.

"We weren't really sure how good we were going to be," said Noah Rasinski, a senior at the U of M.

Being a senior, Rasinksi has seen the attendance struggle over the last few years.

"I think a lot more students are excited to go," Rasinski said. 


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Winning is the easy answer, but in 2017 university-wide sports ticket sales revenue dropped to a six-year low. So behind the scenes, the university tried several things to get more fans in the seats, including lowering some ticket prices and concession discounts. 

"You never count on wins, and you knew it was coming with coach Fleck and the program he's building," said Mike Wierzbicki, Assistant Athletic Director of Marketing at the U of M.

Wierzbicki feels this national attention has been an opportunity to capitalize not only to fill the stands, but promote the university.

"You'll have a lot of fans that haven't been in TCF Bank Stadium for a number of years back on Saturday, and a lot of new fans and we're excited to get them back in the future as well," Wierzbicki said. 

Even Penn State fans are noticing. 

"It's exciting to see Minnesota having a great season," said Chuck Rinaldo, a Penn State fan. 

So hopefully fans have snagged a ticket early because it's the hottest ticket in Dinkytown. 

"I know a lot of people that have been looking for them and it's sold out," Rasinski said. 

"Someone is selling a ticket, and then it goes in like five seconds," Yost said. 

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Brett Hoffland

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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