ORLANDO – These are heady times for the UCF football program – and the end result is that tickets for Knights’ home games in 2019 are going to be difficult to come by, with only minimal quantities of single-game tickets remaining.
On the field, the Knights’ football squad has won 25 of its last 26 games, including New Year’s Six bowl appearances and American Athletic Conference titles each of the last two seasons. UCF stands 17th in the 2019 preseason poll of coaches after the Knights finished 12th in last year’s final USA Today poll of coaches. Josh Heupel’s initial season as Knights’ head coach in 2018 produced a 12-1 mark and a Fiesta Bowl appearance.
That sort of high-level success now has translated handsomely off the field.
For the first time in school history, UCF has sold its entire season-ticket allotment. Minimal inventory remains based on extremely limited single-game tickets and some flexibility given the uncertainty of visiting team allotment use.
A year ago, UCF’s eight home contests averaged 44,018 spectators each in a facility that officially seats 44,206. That 44,018 figure ties the previous single-season average high from the inaugural 2007 campaign at Spectrum Stadium.
The high-water mark in 2018 came when 47,795 fans viewed UCF’s Nov. 17 victory over 19th-ranked Cincinnati on a weekend when ESPN Game Day came to UCF for the first time. That number is the second-highest single-game figure for Spectrum Stadium (48,453 fans watched the 2009 home game against Miami).
Unprecedented demand for UCF football tickets has prompted the Knights’ athletic department for the first time to create a formal waiting list for future season tickets. Call 407-823-1000 (option 1) or log onto https://ucfknights.co/2020waitlist to register your interest. All those individuals will be provided first access, in order of registration, at any future point that additional seating inventory comes available (either general admission or premium seat options).
That demand also has UCF vice president and athletics director Danny White looking to the future and anticipating that Spectrum Stadium expansion may be on the docket for exploration sooner than later.
“The fact that our season-ticket allotment is gone before the start of a season is a first for UCF, and it absolutely speaks to both the success of the football program and how our alumni and community have embraced Orlando’s Hometown Team,” says White.
“We’re confident that capacity crowds will become routine at Spectrum Stadium, and that suggests we need to be forward-thinking in terms of assessing what the options are to expand,” says White. “The topic of expansion isn’t new, but we feel some urgency to figure this out because of the growing demand in the community and, most importantly, with our students. We unfortunately had to turn away thousands of students at the majority of our games last year and we expect that number to grow this season. A 12,000-seat student section is just not big enough for the largest undergraduate enrollment in America.”
Since it opened in 2007 the Knights’ home stadium has added a premium chair-back seating and club area, the Carl Black and Gold Cabana, on the east side of the field and a similar Stadium Club on the west side, also including chair-back seats and premium amenities. The Carl Black and Gold Cabana area will expand for 2019 with the addition of approximately 900 more gold chair-back seats. Other major premium additions were field cabanas in the south end zone in 2017 and then in the north end zone in 2018—and loge cabanas on the south side in 2018 and north side for the upcoming 2019 season.
In addition to being able to address the upsized demand from UCF fans and students for tickets, increased capacity would enable Spectrum Stadium to provide additional seats for visiting team allotments and other larger groups.