Share “No arguing results of Mike Holder's plan”

No arguing results of Mike Holder's plan

Mike Holder has made some tough decisions since taking over as Oklahoma State athletics director — the most unpopular of which was probably the “premium” ticket plan. But the plan has paid off with increases in season-ticket purchases and revenue.
BY BRANDON CHATMON, Staff Writer, Modified: November 23, 2010 at 8:19 pm •  Published: November 23, 2010

As Bedlam approaches with Oklahoma State playing for its first-ever Big 12 South title against Oklahoma on Saturday, plenty of people deserve credit for the Cowboys success in 2010.

But don't forget Mike Holder.

The OSU athletic director has made shrewd decisions and, at the risk of being unpopular amongst the Cowboy fan base, remained steadfast in his commitment to his vision. Holder's solid decision-making has helped OSU increase attendance and improve the overall health of the program.

His “Premium” game ticket policy designates a “premium” game each season meaning purchasing season tickets is the only way to acquire a ticket to that particular game. The policy began in 2008 with Bedlam as the “premium” game followed by Georgia in 2009 and Bedlam again this season.

Holder said Tuesday he expects Bedlam to be a “Premium” game in 2011 with the Cowboys non-conference meeting against Arizona, a potential matchup of two top 25 teams, possibly being a “premium” game as well.

“There are a lot of people who don't like the policy, it has a lot of detractors,” Holder said. “But I try to tell them, it's not about one game. It's about the ultimate goal to sell season tickets and elevate the program to where we consistently compete for championships.

“To do that requires sacrifice on everybody's part: The coaches, the athletes and our fan base. It's not a lot of fun, it's painful at times but it is what is required to compete at the highest level in college athletics.”

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Mike Holder's “Premium game” ticket policy began in 2008. The policy requires anyone who wants to wants to attend the premium game that season to purchase season tickets. The goal of Holder's policy is to sell as many season tickets as possible.

Here's a closer look at the impact the policy has had on the Oklahoma State athletic program:

Average attendance since 2005

2005: 44,860

2006: 40,954

2007: 40,024

2008: 48,261

2009: 53,719

2010: 50,753*

“Premium game” attendance since the policy

Oklahoma in 2008: 49,031

Georgia in 2009: 53,012

Top five attended games before the policy (from 2005-08)

Texas in 2006: 48,035

Colorado in 2006: 47,908

Arkansas State in 2006: 46,817

Texas A&M in 2006: 43,006

Oklahoma in 2006: 42,819

Top five attended games since the policy

Texas in 2009: 58,516

Grambling in 2009: 56,901

Nebraska in 2010: 55,935

Missouri in 2009: 55,752

Georgia in 2009: 53,012 (Premium game)

OSU's record since 2005

4-7 in 2005

7-6 in 2006

7-6 in 2007

9-4 in 2008

9-4 in 2009

10-1 in 2010*

Televised games since 2005

2 times in 2005

6 times in 2006

10 times in 2007

9 times in 2008

11 times in 2009

10 times in 2010 (including Bedlam) *

Revenue differences

$1.2 million: Estimated revenue per home game in 2005

$2.7 million: Estimated revenue per home game in 2010


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