By Jeff White (firstname.lastname@example.org)
CHARLOTTESVILLE — Starting in 2004, UVa sold at least 39,500 season tickets for football four years in a row, including a school-record 39,876 in ’06.
The total dropped to 35,538 last year, in part because of the economy but also as a result of the reseating policy at Scott Stadium.
Sales are down again this year. Heading into the Saturday night season-opener against William and Mary, UVa has sold 30,434 season tickets in a stadium whose capacity is 61,500.
The economy remains a factor in fans’ decisions not to renew their season tickets. But the Cavaliers’ recent struggles have played a role, too.
After four seasons in which the ‘Hoos averaged eight victories and went to four bowl games — three of which they won — they fell to 5-7 in 2006. Led by all-America defensive end Chris Long, Virginia rebounded to finish 9-4 (with a trip to the Gator Bowl) in ’07, but fell back to 5-7 in ’08.
The Cavaliers have been picked to finish fifth in the ACC’s Coastal Division this fall. Media members who vote on the preseason poll have, over the years, become known for their poor prognostication skills, but no one disputes that Virginia’s program faces many questions.
All of which means good seats are still available at Scott Stadium this season.
UVa’s schedule includes seven home games: William and Mary (Saturday, 6 p.m.), Texas Christian (Sept. 12, 3:30 p.m.), Indiana (Oct. 10, TBA), Georgia Tech (Oct. 24, TBA), Duke (Oct. 31, TBA), Boston College (Nov. 14, TBA) and the regular-season finale against Virginia Tech (Nov. 28, TBA).
Of those opponents, three are in The Associated Press’ preseason top 25: Virginia Tech at No. 7, Georgia Tech at No. 15 and TCU at No. 17. Georgia Tech hasn’t won at Scott Stadium since 1990.
Fans who didn’t buy season tickets but are interested in watching the Wahoos in person have several options from which to choose:
* Rivalry package: One ticket to each of these games: W&M, TCU and Virginia Tech. The cost is $108.
* ACC package: One ticket to each of the Georgia Tech, Duke and Boston College games. The cost is $99, 20 percent off full price.
* Family package: Four tickets to each of these games: W&M, TCU and Indiana. The deal also include four hot dogs and four sodas at each game. The cost is $280.
* Single-game tickets: $23 for W&M, $35 for TCU, $35 for Indiana, $42 for Georgia Tech, $42 for Duke and $42 for Boston College.
Single-game tickets may become available for the Virginia Tech game as well. If so, details will be released later this month.
For more ticket information, visit www.VirginiaSports.com or call (800) 542-8821. Fans also may stop by the ticket office at Bryant Hall, which is at the south end of Scott Stadium.