June 17, 2004
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
University of Wyoming fans exhibited a renewed interest in Cowboy Football during the 2003 season as new head coach Joe Glenn and his team brought excitement back to War Memorial Stadium. In connection with that new excitement, the UW Athletics Department has set new attendance goals for the 2004 season, and to help achieve those goals, UW is introducing a number of new ticket options for Cowboy fans.
The attendance campaign is being led by a recently formed committee - the Project 20K Committee. Project 20K has set a goal of averaging 20,000 (20K) fans at 2004 home games. That goal is reminiscent of attendance figures that Wyoming achieved during a very successful 12-year period in school history, from 1987 to 1999, when UW averaged 20,234 fans per season.
The new attendance goals also coincide with new NCAA Division I-A football attendance standards, whereby Division I-A schools must average 15,000 fans in actual home attendance, not just paid attendance, beginning with the 2004 college football season.
Only twice during the past 17 seasons has UW averaged less than 15,000 fans in paid attendance at home games. Those seasons were the 2000 and 2002 campaigns.
"I knew we had assembled the right group of committee members when we decided right out of the gate that our attendance target needed a significant boost," said Associate Athletics Director and Project 20K Chairman Kent Noble. "Everyone on this committee is determined that the University of Wyoming return to its place as one of the most successful programs in the conference.
"We exceeded the 15,000 level in paid attendance last season, averaging 15,700, and we were averaging over 19,000 prior to two late November home games against New Mexico and UNLV that were affected by weather."
Beginning in August of 2004, the NCAA has mandated that all Division I-A football members meet the following criteria:
·Hand out at least 90% (or 76.5) of the 85 football scholarships allotted to major-college programs in a given season.
·Sponsor a minimum of 16 sports overall, including at least six men's and eight women's sports.
·Offer at least 200 scholarships, or spend at least $4 million on scholarships, in those sports.
·Play at least five regular-season home games vs. I-A schools each season.
·Average no less than 15,000 in actual - not merely paid - home football attendance.
UW has consistently met or exceeded each of the five directives, with the major change in these directives being that the NCAA is now basing attendance figures on actual fans in the seats rather than paid attendance. The previous standard of paid attendance allowed universities to count previously paid for tickets (e.g. season tickets) in the attendance figure for a game whether the ticket holders attended the game or not.
To address the attendance goals, Project 20K committee members have come up with the following four-pronged strategy:
1. A comprehensive multimedia campaign will be designed and implemented in order to educate UW fans and students regarding the NCAA's new minimum attendance requirements.
2. The fans' game day experience will be improved. The goal is to make War Memorial Stadium "The Place To Be" on Saturday afternoons.
3. A clearinghouse for unused season tickets will be created for fans that want to support Wyoming Football but are unable to attend games due to their place of residency and/or circumstances. Concurrently, a list of potential recipients of those unused tickets will be organized in order to take advantage of this opportunity.
4. Develop a more effective marketing of season and single-game ticket packages.
What can you as a Wyoming fan do to help?
Whether or not you live in Wyoming, you can help UW achieve its new attendance goals for football through one of the following means:
1. Purchase season or single-game tickets and get to War Memorial Stadium as often as you can. Your presence in the stadium not only gives the Pokes a huge home-field advantage, it is a critical part of the Project 20K effort.
2. Participate in the Cowboys for Kids campaign. This program is designed to bring underprivileged Wyoming youth to Cowboy football games. Children participating in this program will be involved with organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, Youth Crisis Center, Boys & Girls Clubs of Wyoming and other child enrichment programs. For every ticket purchased for this purpose, the Wyoming Athletics Department will match your contribution on a ticket-for-ticket basis. Needless to say, this is a great way to support children in need, as well as the Project 20K program.
To assist fans that may want to participate in one or both of these ventures, the Wyoming Athletics Department has initiated a new Online Ticketing Program that provides the online convenience of secured ticket purchases 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Purchase tickets online HERE or you can call the ticket office toll free at 800-922-9461 or 766-4850 in Laramie.
Project 20K Committee Members:
Jim Angell, Wyoming Press AssociationDan Baker, Human Resources Manager, RAG Coal WestGary Barta, UW Director of Intercollegiate AthleticsBrett Befus, President, Wyoming Collegiate Athletic CouncilDon Black, Publisher, Laramie Daily BoomerangTom Bogan, Director of Recreation, City of CheyenneWayne Bress, Owner, Modern PrintingJim Bunch, District Manager, Black Hills PowerBarbara Burke, UW Senior Associate Athletics DirectorP.J. Burns, Executive Director, Laramie Chamber of CommerceJonathan Despain, Wyoming 4-H State Director/CoordinatorKevin Erbe, Colorado-based UW Alumni Association Board MemberLinda Finnerty, Marketing Director, Clear ChannelJay Fromkin, UW Director of Public RelationsKeith Geis, President & COO, Platte Valley National Bank in WheatlandDan Haley, UW Alumni Association Board of DirectorsVena Hartman, General Manager, Cheyenne Frontier MallJim Hawks, Sales Manager, KTWO TelevisionDan Hawley, UW Development OfficerJohn Hursh, Attorney, Central Wyoming Law AssociatesSusan Kellogg, Sales Manager, Comcast CableBill Luzmoor, Owner, Big Thicket BroadcastingToby Marlatt, Director of Marketing, UW Outreach SchoolMary McGinty, ASUW, Vice PresidentKevin McKinney, UW Sports Information DirectorDave Montgomery, President, Montgomery BroadcastingKent Noble, UW Associate AD for External AffairsStephanie Olson, Regional Director of National AmbassadorsAmy Potter, Sales Rep, Comcast CableTim Ray, Sports Director, Clear ChannelBill Sniffin, Author and newspaper ownerJohn Stark, UW Associate AD for DevelopmentMatt Whisenant, UW Assistant AD for ComplianceMatt Wildt, UW Assistant AD & Ticket ManagerKimberly Wilkerson, Outreach Specialist, Big Brothers Big SistersShaun Ziegler, UW Licensing & Trademark