Dec. 8, 2010
Our staff has been working extremely hard as preparations continue for the AT&T Cotton Bowl.
On Sunday, we learned LSU would be our opponent for the game on Friday, Jan. 7 at 7 p.m. at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. The game will be televised nationally by FOX.
We will be playing in the AT&T Cotton Bowl for the 12th time, and it will be the fifth appearance for LSU.
We have a long and storied history with LSU, but we have not played the Tigers in football since 1995. I know our fans are excited to have this rivalry renewed for such a terrific bowl like the AT&T Cotton Bowl.
We have distributed our entire allotment of 12,500 reserved seats via the Priority Points Program through the 12th Man Foundation, but for 1,250 which will be distributed to students on Thursday morning. In addition, we received 2,000 spirit pass standing room only tickets which will go to Texas A&M students only, and yesterday we received 1,750 additional spirit passes for our students from the AT&T Cotton Bowl.
The enthusiasm shown by our fans and our students has been terrific. Yesterday afternoon, Camp Cotton cropped up in the Zone Plaza as students started gathering in preparation for our student ticket sales on Thursday. Many students camped out for tickets and did a great job of managing lists for places in lines. By nightfall the Zone Plaza was filled with 150-175 tents. Click here for some photos of “Camp Cotton” taken last night and earlier today.
We ultimately received over 16,000 reserved and standing room only tickets from the AT&T Cotton Bowl, but our demand was much more. I’m confident we could have sold more than the 27,000 tickets we sold for our last appearance in the AT&T Cotton Bowl.
The folks at the AT&T Cotton Bowl told us they had not seen the demand for tickets from one school like this in many years. And having that demand by our fans is very important for future bowl games. The bowls constantly monitor how school’s fans travel and how many tickets those fans buy.
Some of you have done the math and have asked about the 50,000 or so tickets for the AT&T Cotton Bowl not allocated to the participating schools. Since the AT&T Cotton Bowl moved to Cowboys Stadium, they have seen an increase in sales for yearly tickets by folks in the North Texas Area who support the game regardless of who is playing. This year, that number reached the 50,000 range for the first time.
It’s fair to say no other bowl game, other than perhaps the BCS National Championship game, sold out quicker than the AT&T Cotton Bowl this season.
Our team begins practicing for the bowl game on Thursday. Due to final exams beginning on Friday, we will work around those important dates and begin in earnest next Wednesday. Because the game is not until Jan. 7, our players and staff will get to spend a few days with their families for the Christmas holiday. We will report to Arlington on Jan. 1 for a week of practice, special events, and some of the best bowl activities anywhere in the nation.
You can follow all the bowl activities of our team by clicking here to go to our bowl central website. We will post press releases, videos, audio and photos on this site. Plus, our team at AggieAthletics.com will keep followers up to date via Twitter and Facebook.
Playing a post season bowl game also offers fans the opportunity to purchase a variety of merchandise and apparel with the Texas A&M and AT&T Cotton Bowl logos. Before those products can be printed, the designs must be approved by all of the trademark license holders. In this case, Texas A&M and the AT&T Cotton Bowl, and LSU when included on the design, all needed to approve designs. Our staff has been inundated with artwork approval requests since last week. We have approved approximately 101 bowl designs as of today. This is by far a record amount of approved submissions for licensed goods for a single Texas A&M athletics event.
Click here to purchase official Texas A&M and AT&T Cotton Bowl apparel from AggieLocker.com.
As part of the collegiate licensing process, a portion of revenue from every sale where the Texas A&M brand is printed is returned to us.
One of my goals since I arrived here has been to sell out Kyle Field in season tickets. I believe that goal is closer to becoming a reality than ever before. I’m excited to announce our new campaign to sell out Kyle Field for the 2011 season. Our marketing theme is “Are You Ready? Hell Yeah!” This phrase gained popularity with the 12th Man during Midnight Yell Practice prior to the Nebraska game when shouted by Coach Mike Sherman.
This campaign to sell out Kyle Field for 2011 starts Thursday and was prompted by your enthusiasm over our last six games.
I’m pleased to report that our season ticket prices will not increase for the 2011 season. This holds true for our discounted season tickets, too. Season tickets will remain $400 which is a discount of $190 off the total value of the seven-game package if purchased individually.
Our discounted season ticket packages start at $250 for the Flyover Zone in the upper rows of The Zone, while our popular McFerrin’s package is $350 for sections 146-147 plus the McFerrin’s pregame club.
After selling out the south end bleachers for the entire 2010 season, we’re prepared to expand our Family and Friends Zone to other nearby seats in the general seating area. The first ticket is $250, the second ticket is $200, and we’ve adjusted the prices for tickets three through six to cost $175 each.
Did you know we offer a payment plan for all season ticket options? It’s a great way to reserve your seats now for just $100 and pay the balance off during the spring and summer. Contact our ticket office for complete details on purchasing season tickets for 2011.
I’m also pleased to offer every new season ticket purchaser and every renewal order a copy of our 2010 Texas A&M Football Season Highlight DVD. You just pay the shipping and the DVD arrives in January following our AT&T Cotton Bowl appearance. This highlight DVD will be a keepsake with many behind-the-scenes, and never-seen-before video. The only way to get a copy is by being a 2011 season ticket holder.
Tuesday afternoon was an exciting and surprising time for our football team. During a team meeting, the players and staff were watching a video about the life and career of Dick Butkus. Throughout the season our team has seen similar videos featuring a variety of sports figures like Bill Russell, Tom Brady, and Secretariat.
During the video, Dick Butkus and his son Matt came in the room and sat down next to Von.
When the lights came up, legendary linebacker Dick Butkus was standing in the room to present Von Miller the trophy as winner of the 2010 Butkus Award. Von was very surprised and so was everyone in the room.
This is a terrific honor for Von and for our team. He has had a tremendous season and I’m happy for him to receive this national honor.
Monday night I watched our No. 7-ranked women’s basketball team play hard on ESPN2 against No. 5-ranked Duke on the road. Despite a scoring drought in the first half, our team still battled back and regained the lead in the second. In the final seconds, we ran an inbounds play and Danielle Adams had an open look at the basket, but the shot did not fall.
Coach Gary Blair and our women will host Purdue at 7 p.m. on Thursday at Reed Arena as part of the 2010 Big Ten/Big 12 Challenge. Then, we host TCU on Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase by clicking here.
On Sunday, we are holding our inaugural Teddy Bear Toss to benefit children in the Brazos Valley. We are encouraging fans to bring a stuffed animal or teddy bear to the game. Then at halftime, we will set a target at midcourt and ask fans to toss the stuffed animals. A winner will be chosen, while members of our Student Athlete Advisory Committee and our marketing team will collect the stuffed animals for charity.
Half-price Holiday Hoops ticketing is back this season for women’s and men’s basketball. Included are all women’s games beginning Thursday against Purdue through Jan. 8 against Colorado.
The half-price tickets for men’s basketball begin tonight with our game against Prairie View A&M and runs through the Oklahoma State game on January 12. Tip-off against Prairie View A&M will be 7 p.m. at Reed Arena.
This Saturday we will host Washington at 3:30 p.m. as part of the Big 12/Pac 10 Hardwood Series. The game will be televised nationally by ESPN2.
A special recognition will take place before Saturday’s game to honor Mike and Nikki Oyedeji and their son Tobi, a member of the Aggie hoops incoming Class of '14. Tobi died tragically following a car accident in Houston on May 16, 2010, and a memorial scholarship has been set up in his honor. Coach Mark Turgeon will present Tobi’s parents with an Endowed Scholarship plaque recognizing the donations made in their son’s honor.
Also in attendance Saturday will be our football team, which will be presented the Big 12 South Division championship trophy at halftime.
Both of our basketball teams have benefited from home court advantage provided by the 12th Man. Did you know that our men’s team has won 55 straight non-conference home games and 68 straight regular-season, non-conference home games? Meanwhile, our women have won 40 straight non-conference home games. In addition, we have won 72 of our last 79 home games.
We have a couple of ticketing options starting at $5 for men’s basketball.
In addition to the Half-Priced Holiday Hoops promotion, we have the $5 Old Army Spirit Section tickets for men’s basketball games. Just stop by Old Army Spirit Company on Harvey Road in College Station beginning the first business day after our last home game to purchase these special $5 seats for sections 201-203. The tickets must be picked up at the Old Army Spirit Co. store, but you can also make your purchase via their website.
New for this season of men’s and women’s basketball are group ticket packages. The packages are great for hosting employee outings, youth sports teams and church groups. Purchase tickets for 20 or more and see your group’s name in lights on 12th Man TV. For more information, contact our marketing department at 979-862-5431.
I hope you are making plans to join our men’s basketball team in Dallas on Saturday, Dec. 18 for The Showcase. We will face Arkansas at 1 p.m. at the American Airlines Center in a game being televised by ESPN2. Following our game, Baylor will face Gonzaga. Tickets are available from the AAC by clicking here.
Indoor track and field season starts Saturday with the 11-event, two-hour long, Reveille Invitational at the Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium. The meet starts at 12:30 p.m. Joining our two-time outdoor national championship Aggies, will be Baylor, Houston, and TCU.
Events contested on the track during the Reveille Invitational will include the 60 meters, 60 hurdles, 800 meters, 5,000 meters, 4 x 400 relay and distance medley relay. Field events will include the high jump, pole vault, long jump, shot put and weight throw.
As a reminder, we will host seven home meets this season concluding with the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in March. Season tickets for the indoor track season are on sale now and the package includes your tickets for the NCAAs. Click here to purchase indoor track and field tickets.
Our defending Big 12 Champion and No. 8-ranked women’s swimming and diving team won 10 races and set nine pool records as we beat Rice last Saturday in Houston. We set pool records in the 1,000-yard freestyle, 100 backstroke, 200 butterfly, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, 500 free, 100 fly and the 200 freestyle. Our team was also credited with the pool record in the 50 free by virtue of the opening leg of the 200 free relay.
Meanwhile, our men won 10 of the 13 events against SMU last Saturday in our pool.
Both teams will take a break for the holidays and will resume competition in January.
Tuesday was the last class day for the Fall semester and final exams begin Friday. As has been our practice, we will take a break from Wednesday Weekly until the students return in January. Of course if events warrant, I will return with a special edition.
I hope to see as many of you as possible at our holiday basketball games and at the AT&T Cotton Bowl.
On behalf of everyone at Texas A&M Athletics, I hope you and your family have a safe and terrific holiday season!