Berry Tramel: Mike Holder ticket policy working at OSU

by Berry Tramel Modified: September 22, 2009 at 8:53 am •  Published: September 22, 2009
STILLWATER — After three Oklahoma State home games, time for head counts.

Georgia: 53,012.

Houston: 50,875.

Rice: 51,803.

Now comes Grambling State and, with a marketing push, the biggest crowd in Boone Pickens Stadium history expected.

Time for everyone to admit, Mike Holder’s ticket policy is working. Refusing to sell single-game tickets to OSU’s marquee matchup in both 2008 (OU) and 2009 (Georgia) has greased the turnstiles.

Despise the plan or not. Like the man or not. You can’t deny, the Cowboy athletic director has generated unparalleled interest in O-State football.

A school that sold 32,000 season tickets as recently as 2006 has sold more than 45,000 in 2009.

"I learned early in life, to create value in something, make it hard to get or take it away from someone,” Holder said.

So Holder took something away: easy access to Bedlam (’08) or Georgia (’09, a game as anticipated as any in OSU history).

Fans squawked and yelped and complained. Then bought season tickets in record numbers.

"Good thing the athletic director isn’t an elected office,” Holder deadpanned.

OSU president Burns Hargis said, "It was a creative idea. I like creative ideas, and it worked.

"We tried to explain to people, everybody’s got to support this. It can’t just be Boone Pickens.

"And the way to support it is to buy season tickets. We’ve got to sell out in season tickets.”

That day is a long ways off.

by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The...
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