Asmussen: Illini have ticket for you

Asmussen: Illini have ticket for you

Do you have a computer? Did you find $9.99 in change while cleaning out the couch this weekend? Are you free at 1:25 this afternoon?

Answer “yes” to all of the above and Jason Heggemeyer has a deal for you.

To celebrate the 125th anniversary of Illinois football and the start of training camp, the school is selling tickets today for $9.99.

There is a hitch: You have to buy at least four tickets. But you can buy many more. In fact, ticket manager Heggemeyer is hoping you will.

“We call it a flash sale,” Heggemeyer said. “The whole point of a flash sale is you don’t tell anybody about it until right before you are going to do it. You have to price it right so people will respond to it.

“It’s a great deal.”

Heggemeyer isn’t sure what kind of business the Illini will do at 1:25. The sales are online only.

“Our system is capable of selling thousands,” Heggemeyer said. “If everybody jumped online to do it, we’re more than capable. We can do a lot of volume. It will be great if that happened.”

The seats are located in the lower corners of Memorial Stadium. Seats there normally go for $39, meaning a 74 percent discount.

“People who previously ordered tickets, they have much better seat locations than what these will be,” Heggemeyer said. “This was not meant to replace something you’ve already purchased. This was meant to be, ‘Hey, buy some extras. Invite some more people.’ Because you can.”

The flash sale hasn’t been used before at Illinois. The ticket office is trying to create some buzz and thinks discounted seats might do it.

“I think it will accomplish what we are trying to accomplish,” Heggemeyer said.

Is the flash sale a sign of ticket trouble? Heggemeyer won’t go there.

“It’s a ticket promotion,” Heggemeyer said. “We’re getting people talking about tickets. We’re getting people talking about football. We’re letting people know it’s the 125th year.”

There are about 2,500 seats per game available at $9.99.

“But if we start today and it blows up, we’ll start doing the East balcony, too,” Heggemeyer said. “We won’t stop it. We will not stop the sale unless we run out of seats in the entire building.”

And that isn’t going to happen. Not now.

A month before the opener, Heggemeyer said, “We have a lot of work to do. We’ve tailed off a little bit from last year, but we’re working really hard to make that back up. Our season ticket numbers are not that far off from last year’s numbers.”

Bob Asmussen can be reached at 217-351-5233 or by email at asmussen@news-gazette.com.

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illini82 wrote on August 05, 2014 at 11:08 am

If this isn't a referendum on fan trust in the Beckman regime or a barometer of fan indifference  then I don't know what is. 

"See a B10 football game for the price of a High School game!"  If they would only drop parking down to $10 then it might be worth it. 

And how happy are season ticket holders right now? Many probably feel like major league suckers or chumps having already paid full price.

The next thing you know Illinois fans will receive a court order for mandatory home game attendance. Come to think of it that's not a bad idea. Attend an Illinois football game as part of court ordered public service requirments!

I wonder how many would still rather pick up garbage in the parks.