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Buffs lose 14 percent of season ticket holders

6/17/2004 - Colorado Buffaloes

BOULDER, Colo. -- The Colorado football program has lost
nearly 14 percent of last year's season-ticket holders after a poor
season and a recruiting scandal that included allegations of rape.

Colorado so far has 23,182 season-ticket renewals, a drop of
3,719 from 26,901 last year.

John Meadows, senior associate athletic director for external
affairs, said he is concerned and that the decline could affect the
athletic department budget if single-game sales don't make up for
the losses.

The school polled former season-ticket holders to find out why
they failed to renew and "about 2 or 3 percent" indicated it was
because of the scandal, Meadows said. Others blamed last season's
5-7 performance and others blamed economic factors.

"The big issue in the fall will be, will we be able to get out
from under all the stuff, if the economy moves, if we start off so
people who are football fans can be excited about football,"
Meadows said. "We're not wringing our hands because there is a
pattern. People wait and new people come on board. If our team is
good, the enthusiasm starts to build."

Some attrition is expected. For example, 4 percent of season
ticket holders did not renew in 1990, the summer after Colorado
played for the national title.

The school has been embroiled in a scandal that has led to
sweeping changes in the football program and new scrutiny of
coaches and university officials. The attorney general also
investigated allegations from nine women who say they were
assaulted by football athletes, but decided against filing criminal
charges.

Meadows said some fans have requested extra time to renew
pending the results of investigations into the program and the
possible effect on the team's ability to compete. He said renewals
were accepted until late May.

The school, however, has sold more luxury boxes and club level
seats than it did last season. Meadows said he expects to sell out
the boxes for games against Colorado State and Texas this fall.

On Wednesday, Fox Sports Net said it will televise the
Colorado-Colorado State showdown on Sept. 4 at 6 p.m. It will be
the first time the game has been played in Boulder since 1997, with
the past six played in Denver. CSU has not won at Folsom Field
since 1986.