Stanford has sold 31,850 season tickets for the upcoming football season, a school official said Tuesday. That's uncharted territory in an even-number year for the small private university with alumni dispersed across the country.
The figure represents a 25 percent increase over the 2012 season-ticket sales and is believed to be a school record for an even-year home schedule.
"Stanford fans have really embraced the team in a year when some people are less than enthusiastic about the schedule,'' senior associate athletic director Kevin Blue said. "The fans are supporting the program for the program's sake.''
Stanford sold out its season ticket allotment last year (approximately 34,000 tickets) for the first time in school history.
But the odd-year schedule features four high-interest games: Oregon, UCLA, Notre Dame and Cal.
The even-year schedule has always been a tough sell for the Cardinal's sales force, with only one marquee home opponent, USC.
This season, the Trojans visit early, in Week 2. The other home games are against Utah, Oregon State, Washington State (on a Friday night), Army and UC Davis.
Two years ago, following back-to-back appearances in the Bowl Championship Series, Stanford sold just 25,591 season tickets.
But sustained success on the field and key operational changes, including the implementation of more sophisticated business strategies, have propelled 2014 sales.
"The schedule is having much less influence on the fans,'' Blue said.