by Rob Moseley
Single-game seats for Oregon football games go on sale this week, with on-line buyers having the first chance at tickets beginning Thursday evening at 10 p.m. on GoDucks.com.
Autzen Stadium will host seven games in 2013, beginning with the season-opener Aug. 31 against Nicholls. The Ducks host a premier nonconference matchup against Tennessee on Sept. 14, and the Pac-12 schedule includes Cal on Sept. 28, Washington State on Oct. 19, UCLA on Oct. 26, Utah on Nov. 16 and the Civil War on Nov. 29, a Friday evening.
Tickets to four of the Ducks' five road games also are available through the UO ticket office; Oregon has sold out of its allotment for the highly anticipated Nov. 7 showdown with fellow Pac-12 North division favorite Stanford.
Online buyers will have an 11-hour head start for single-game sales. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Moshofsky Center ticket office or over the phone at 1-800-WEBFOOT beginning Friday at 9 a.m.
Prices for single games range from $34 for the opener against Nicholls of the Football Championship Subdivision, to $88 for the WSU and Utah games, $93 to see Cal or UCLA and $99 for the Tennessee and Oregon State games. The combination of students not being on hand for the opener plus a small travel contingent of visiting fans has opened up several thousand extra seats for the Nicholls game, and spurred the markedly lower price for those seats.
For the time being, Tennessee, Cal and OSU tickets are only available by purchasing full season tickets, or a three-game mini-plan that includes one of those three marquee games and two others from among the Nicholls, WSU, UCLA and Utah matchups.
"The mini-plan will hopefully be a great option this year for fans who can't commit to a full season ticket," UO associate director of ticket sales Laura Jorgensen said.
This is the second year in which mini-plans have been offered, to complement sales of full season tickets, for which the renewal rate is around 90 percent for the second straight year. Autzen Stadium can accommodate around 43,000 paid season-ticket holders, and the Ducks have sold just shy of 39,000 for 2013.
The Ducks are currently enjoying a sellout streak of 89 games, and UO officials are optimistic it will continue.
Oregon's ticket prices, a primary source of revenue for the athletic department, increased slightly again this year. The Ducks are trying to remain competitive with programs who boast stadiums twice the size of Autzen, but Oregon's top ticket price is well below some other top-tier teams such as Michigan, which is expected to charge $175 to see Ohio State in 107,501-seat Michigan Stadium, and of the Buckeyes, who are charging $110 to see Wisconsin in 102,329-seat Ohio Stadium.
To spur the sales of season tickets, the UO athletic department have contracted with a third-party LLC, known as Duck Tix, to handle outbound sales this season. Duck Tix has been contacting local businesses, former season-ticket holders and single-game ticket buyers in recent weeks.
"There's not a lot of gaps to fill in, but we're looking for folks to take those newly available seats, and that's what our job is," Duck Tix general manager of sales Matt Harper said.
Some 60 schools nationally have contracted with similar third-party sales teams in the past few years, Harper said, to complement the athletic department ticket office's operational function.