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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona soccer sees record breaking ticket sales

Robert Alcaraz / Arizona Daily Wildcat UA vs USC

For the first time in Arizona soccer history, a home game was sold out as 1,021 fans packed into Murphy Field at Mulcahy Stadium for last Thursday’s match against No. 2 Stanford.

For those who made it into the stadium, they were packed in like sardines. Those who showed up late had to watch from the parking lot.

“Pink day,” in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, was not the only factor that made the sellout possible.

The role of the marketing department

Beyond marketing via social networking and flyers, the department wanted to raise group sales, so it targeted American Youth Soccer Organization groups, which include youth soccer players from the Tucson area. In addition, the Wildcats went to a local hospital this week to meet with the staff and patients, said Kelsey Bacon, a marketing intern.

“They ended up selling 723 tickets to those groups, which is a huge amount because our max amount of ticket sales this year was 725,” Bacon said. “So we had already beaten our max attendance.”

Within minutes, ticket sales were shut down, because the stadium was at capacity.

“Now I just have to do it again,” Bacon said. “It’s great and it gives the girls a boost too because they don’t get that kind of attention like all the other sports. It showed that people really do care about the soccer team here and about the game.”

The role of the coaching staff and other athletic departments

“I think it had a lot to do with some of the work that [assistant coach] Danielle [Sunderhaus] does throughout the year with our camps and getting other players interested,” head coach Lisa Oyen said. “A lot of the youth players have spoken to, met or worked with our players in the past so they come out to see specific players sometimes because they have relationships with them. They see them as mentors and that’s really special.”

Oyen also commended other Arizona student-athletes in general because they have been very supportive of the soccer team throughout the season, including UA football and baseball players.

From the outside looking in

Omar Gastelum, a senior at Arizona and adamant soccer supporter, showed up late to the game because he had class until 8 p.m. and was in shock.

“I usually go to home games at eight and I usually don’t have any issues because you usually don’t have to pay after halftime … this was the first time I saw it at full capacity,” Gastelum said. “I was disappointed because it was a tough game against Stanford, which was ranked number two. So what we did is stay behind the goal and watched the game from there.”

Gastelum was joined by a group of Arizona students, and with five minutes left in the game, people began trickling out of the stadium, which prompted Gastelum and the other students to approach and attempt entry again.

The security guards were no longer checking for tickets , so they were able to watch the last five minutes of the game from the main entrance to the field.

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