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UND football season tickets see a dip following three-win 2017 season

UND football fans tailgate outside the Alerus Center before a 2016 matchup with South Dakota. Photo by Jesse Trelstad/Grand Forks Herald.

During Bubba Schweigert's first three seasons as head UND football coach, the program's wins—and fan base—steadily accumulated.

Then came the disappointing 2017 season. The Fighting Hawks went from a No. 8 preseason national ranking to a 3-8 season.

A look at UND's early season ticket sales for the 2018 season reflect the setback.

The school has sold 648 fewer season tickets than a year ago as of July 12, although the total number of 4,648 seats is still the second-highest total of the Division I era.

UND saw 5,296 season tickets across 1,545 accounts in 2017. Now, UND has 4,648 season tickets across 1,327 accounts.

Of UND's 4,648 season tickets, 292 of those seats are new season ticket holders in 2018.

UND's fan base was buzzing following a 2016 season in which Schweigert's Hawks went 9-3, won the Big Sky Conference title and hosted the school's first FCS playoff game.

The jump in ticket sales between 2016 and 2017 show that excitement. During the 2016 season, UND had 4,355 season ticket holders and 334 new season ticket holders.

After the strong 2016 season, UND saw a boom of 1,333 new season ticket holders. That more than doubled the previous record of new season ticket holders of 649 set in 2010.

UND is coming off a 2017 season in which the average attendance was the highest it has been since the Alerus Center opened in 2001.

UND averaged 10,462 fans in 2017, up from an average of 9,944 fans in 2016.

In Chris Mussman's final season as head coach in 2013, UND averaged 8,357 fans during a 3-8 campaign.

In Schweigert's first season in 2014, UND improved to 5-7 and averaged 7,485 fans—the lowest average in the Alerus Center era and likely a reflection of the 2013 struggles.

As UND improved to 7-4 and narrowly missed the FCS playoffs in 2015, UND's average attendance bumped to 8,318.

The Hawks, who were overcome with injuries in the 2017 season, hope to bounce back in 2018 with the return of All-American cornerback Deion Harris, who missed the entire 2017 season with an Achilles injury.

UND also returns all-conference running backs John Santiago and Brady Oliveira, as well as all-league defenders Tank Harris and Tanner Palmborg.

UND's 2018 home schedule includes Mississippi Valley State, Idaho State, Montana, Weber State and Portland State.

Tom Miller

Miller has been with the Grand Forks Herald sports department since 2004. He's also a Grand Forks native and UND graduate. 

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