OK St.: Up To 15,000 Empty Seats For OU Game

Should Oklahoma State find a way to get by Texas Tech tonight, we’ll be set up for one of the great rivalry games in years when Oklahoma visits Stillwater in three weeks. Heck, even if the Cowboys don’t beat the Red Raiders tonight, it will still be a game that could decided the champion of the Big 12 South.

Oklahoma State

(Feel the excitement, Cowpokes!)

Good luck getting in to the game, though. I mean, it’s gotta be sold out, right? Actually, no. In fact, there’s at least 15,000 tickets available right now, and the way things are going, most of those 15,000 seats will still be empty on game day. Whaaaaaa?

Apparently, Oklahoma State’s ticket policy, which has been in effect all season, is that you don’t get to go to the OU game on November 29th if you haven’t purchased season tickets.

The OKLAHOMAN says that despite the potential for the game to be one of the biggest in school history, the university is sticking to its guns, and is willing to have thousands of seats go unfilled:

“The strategy isn’t about the short-term consequences of empty seats for the 2008 Bedlam game but the long term success of athletics at OSU,” [Associate Athletic Director] Craig Clemons wrote. “If we are to compete for championships in the Big 12 Conference we must sell more season tickets.”

Right now, the season-ticket base is at 39,000, which is the highest it’s ever been thanks in larger part to this very policy. Add in OU’s 5,000-7,000 allotted tickets and you’re looking at a crowd of around 44-46,000. Boone Pickens Stadium (why no “T.” in the name?) holds 60,000.

It’s a tough spot. I understand using the OU game as an incentive to buy season tickets, but at the same time it can be seen as holding fans hostage. Pay the ransom of (in this case) $419 or you don’t get in. And now, the school is going to probably face some negative publicity from the media on game day for allowing the stadium to sit a quarter empty.

Fans can also buy seats to the game from the school’s ticket exchange online, but those are already existing season tickets. Are Oklahoma boosters trying to raise the money to buy the other 15,000 “season tickets” as we speak?

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