Nashville, Tenn. - Vanderbilt has ample proof that enthusiasm is high for the upcoming Commodore football season.
Within the last week, season ticket sales for the Commodores' six-game home schedule in Vanderbilt Stadium surpassed totals from the entire 2011 campaign when the team advanced to the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.
Nearly 12,700 season tickets have been sold through May 2, according to Vanderbilt Athletics Sales and Marketing Director Steve Walsh. The Commodores sold 12,489 season tickets last year.
Head Coach James Franklin, who renewed excitement among Commodore fans in his first year, was pleased with the early sales, but said a lot more has to be accomplished prior to the team's highly-anticipated season opener against South Carolina on Aug. 30.
"It's a great start but it's not close to where we need to be for the first game," Franklin said. "Vanderbilt Stadium should be sold out full of Commodore fans when the Gamecocks come to town for that Thursday night game."
Besides South Carolina, the Commodores will host Southeastern Conference members Florida on Oct. 13, Auburn on Oct. 20 and Tennessee on Nov. 17. Vanderbilt's non-conference home games come against Presbyterian on Sept. 15 and Massachusetts on Oct. 27.
Vanderbilt athletics officials expect strong season ticket sales to continue as the football campaign approaches. Asummer sales force and marketing efforts will target both current fans that were among the estimated 30,000 Commodore followers that attended the bowl in Memphis and new fans through attractive pricing levels.
"We have big goals for this year and fully anticipate seeing the stadium full of fans in black and gold," Walsh said. "There's a ton of excitement with this team and what Coach Franklin is doing with the program. And the pricing also makes Vanderbilt season tickets one of the best true entertainment values in Nashville."
Regular season ticket prices for top sideline seats are $261, with discounted prices available for Vanderbilt employees ($181) and youth ($151). Processing fees are included in the price.
Seats throughout the rest of Vanderbilt Stadium are even less expensive. South end zone tickets are $126 each. A new general admission grass seating area under construction in the north end zone costs just $116 per person.
Vanderbilt also is offering a special Family Plan package, which includes two adult and two youth tickets, in the south end zone for $399.
Season tickets can be purchased online at www.vucommodores.com, by phone at (615) 322-GOLD (4653) or at the Vanderbilt Athletics Box Office in McGugin Athletic Center on campus. The box office is open during regular business hours.