Per SK.com, single game tickets will go on sale starting Monday. Steve Politi recently reported that the team's season ticket sales were up 15% over last year's total of 28,000 sold, but Rutgers still needs to several thousand more tickets to sell out the newly-expanded Rutgers Stadium (new pics are up, by the way). The timing is somewhat curious, in that three and four game packages were only recently put up for sale. I think that if the team gets off to a fast start, it won't have trouble seating 52,000 for its conference home slate. There's always the worry that several thousand West Virginia fans will invade the stadium. As always, I don't want to say anything definitive on the final attendance figures until some more concrete information is out there. We're seeing the return of several old promotions, like Youth Football Day vs. FIU.
I'll just file away several of the quotes from yesterday's Scarlet Scuttlebutt interview with Ryan D'Imperio for future use.
According to a Rivals thread from yesterday, Paul Franklin will cover high school sports this fall instead of contributing Rutgers football features and opinions. I don't know whether that will happen or not (all I know about anything is what pops up on Google News and my RSS feeds), but that would be a disappointment if true. It's great when the Ledger can find someone like Alan Sepinwall who does a great job on a topic with national appeal, but by and large Advance and Gannett cut their teeth in New Jersey with local coverage. That's where they arguably should have a competitive advance. Layoffs and cutbacks may alleviate short term financial stress to an extent, but do inarguable damage to the long term outlooks of both organizations. How pathetic is it that the Record/Herald News used to have Aditi, Adam Zagoria, and Woj on staff; and now Tara Sullivan is the only writer left that may conceivably write about Rutgers sports every now and again?
Speaking of Zagoria, he has a lot of good details about Tim Pernetti's plans for the RAC and new basketball facilities.
It's always something: Kenny Britt comes off PUP today, while Darnell Stapleton faces arthroscopic knee surgery with no time table set for his return. Eric Foster's goal for this season is to be more of a pass rush threat (he was forced to play nose tackle by a thin depth chart last year). There's a decent Ray Rice interview up at WBAL.com. Rice displays the obligatory level of class that you would expect from any product of Coach Schiano's football program.
If there's any ego in the Rutgers product, it's hard to find as Ray's not the kind of showboat offensive star who dots the landscape of today's NFL, rather he's a bowling ball of a young man as the 22-year old is packing over 200lbs of muscle on his five-foot-eight frame.
Fall camp is just around the corner, and that means paying attention to Maryland, who are unfortunately the only Rutgers OOC contest of note this fall. Rutgers alum Eric Prisbell checks in with five questions facing the Terps as they set to begin practice next Monday. No, they won't be leaving the ACC, but Maryland has had some recent trouble selling tickets and their new luxury box suites (as have many, many programs in this economy).
The suites are being completed when the team's ticket sales are down and many college and professional programs are feeling pinched by the economy. Season ticket sales have fallen to 24,894 from 27,110 at this time last year -- an 8.1 percent dip.
Byrd Stadium's present capacity is 51,500, with an 8k increase planned at some point in the indefinite future. Maybe Coach Schiano wasn't that off the mark with his prediction of adding another deck to the stadium in one to three years? I'm surprised that their season ticket sales are that low, but they indeed averaged about 48,000 total in the stands last year, a decrease of over 1,000 from 2007. Guess any New Jerseyans venturing south for the game may actually be able to secure tickets. Still, it's strange but true: the numbers say that our level of fan support is higher. Probably should file that statistic away too for use after RutgersAl inevitably whips their fans up into another unruly frenzy.
New Brunswick will guarantee $60 million in bonds for use with the upcoming Gateway project. Several incoming Rutgers freshmen, recently devoted a day to planting vegetables earmarked for local soup kitchens and food banks.