Fans at Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, Neb.
KRISTIN STREFF/Lincoln Journal Star

While there are still Husker football season tickets available, NU officials feel positive about the pace of sales with the 2015 opener now less than three months away.

Those good vibes only increased Monday when, after announcing midday there were about 1,500 season tickets left, about 400 were snapped up in three hours.

"We're real pleased with where things are at now. Nebraska fans are great. They've shown they've been great the last 50 years and beyond," said David Witty, Husker senior associate athletic director for marketing and communications. "We're right where we're expected to be and confident we're going to sell the rest of these tickets."

He estimated the ticket renewal rate at more than 95 percent — "consistent with where we've been in the last decade." And while not specifying the exact number of the roughly 8,000 allotted student tickets sold, Witty said sales are ahead of last year's pace.

The incoming freshman class has produced "a great response," he said, and tickets continue to be sold at summer events such as New Student Enrollment. There will also be some student events in August that haven't been held in recent years that Witty thinks should further engage the student body and help with sales.

Another advantage for the NU athletic department is that the Sept. 5 opener against BYU comes two weeks after the start of the fall semester, giving students more time to buy tickets.

"We're confident of where we are with the students," Witty said.

When it comes to the general public, Husker officials just finished a "seat yourself" process Friday, allowing fans a better chance to see where they stand. Of the season tickets that remain, the majority are because of a change in the number of tickets provided to visiting team's fans.

Previously, 4,000 tickets had been allotted to visiting team's fans. That allotment has been reduced to 3,000, putting additional seats into the season ticket pool for Husker fans.

Season tickets cost $399 for this year's seven-game package, which features games against BYU, South Alabama, Southern Miss, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Michigan State and Iowa.

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It's an attractive enough setup: Not only is there the intrigue of Mike Riley's first season as Husker head coach, but the schedule seems better on paper than last season's.

Five of the opponents played in bowl games last year. Wisconsin won the Big Ten West Division, Michigan State figures to come into this year a preseason top-10 team, and the first game isn't against a cupcake.

"It's probably our best opener since Oklahoma State in 2003. ... Having that type of opener, that time slot at 2:30, all of that adds to people wanting to get out to the game," Witty said.

As many programs across the country struggle to fill seats, with high-definition television broadcasts adding to the allure of the in-home experience, Witty points out NU personnel keep looking for ways to stay ahead of the game in making the in-stadium experience fresh and appealing.

Nebraska's nation-leading 340 consecutive sellouts remain of high value to a fan base that has seen other Husker streaks from past eras end.

"We're constantly looking at ways we can enhance the fan experience here to make sure where we're at," Witty said. "Last year, with the (new) Wi-Fi and the sound system. And there's some things we're looking at doing this year with our in-game presentation. We'll continue to try to make sure this is a great experience and keep the sellout streak going."

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