Michigan football tickets a hot item again

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News
Michigan QB Shane Morris

Michigan football interest undoubtedly has been high since the arrival of coach Jim Harbaugh, and that's evident in the season tickets sold.

The program sold 89,795 season tickets, the most combined season tickets at Michigan since 2012. That total includes 72,076 non-student season tickets, the most since 2009, according to a Michigan release Thursday. That combined total is larger than the stadium capacity for all but 11 other universities in the country.

A major spike in sales has come from students. After student season tickets dipped to 11,597 last fall, there's been a substantial increase to 17,899 student season tickets sold for the upcoming season.

Michigan added 2,147 to its football season ticket interest list last winter, and each individual was offered tickets for the upcoming season. Of that group offered, 1,926 bought tickets, adding 4,988 new season tickets.

Season tickets for 2015 are no longer being offered but the 2016 interest list is online at MGoBlue.com.

All tickets for home games against rivals Michigan State and Ohio State have been sold, and there are scattered single tickets for the Oregon State, Rutgers and Northwestern games. There are tickets available through Michigan's online ticket office for home games against UNLV and BYU.

This is a marked change from last season, based on reporting by The Detroit News, which revealed in April through game-by-game ticket statistics obtained through the open-records act, that Michigan distributed 62,879 free tickets distributed during the 2014 season, in an effort to preserve the program's streak of 100,000-plus attendance games.

Those freebies accounted for roughly 8.6 percent of attendance, a sharp increase from the previous season when 2.8 percent of the attendance came from comp tickets. Even with the comps, the stadium surpassed its capacity of 109,901 only once, and that came in an under-the-lights game against Penn State.

Michigan last year saw its 16-year hold as the nation's attendance leader snatched by Ohio State, which averaged just more than 106,000 fans to Michigan's 104,909, ranking third behind Texas A&M.

2015 MICHIGAN SCHEDULE

Thu., Sept. 3, at Utah, 8:30 p.m. (Fox Sports 1)

Sat., Sept. 12, Oregon State, noon (ABC)

Sat., Sept. 19, UNLV, noon (BTN)

Sat., Sept. 26, Brigham Young

Sat., Oct. 3, at Maryland, 8 p.m. (BTN)

Sat., Oct. 10, Northwestern, 3:30 p.m.

Sat., Oct. 17, Michigan State

Sat., Oct. 31, at Minnesota, 8 p.m. (ABC, ESPN or ESPN2)

Sat., Nov. 7, Rutgers

Sat., Nov. 14, at Indiana

Sat., Nov. 21, at Penn State

Sat., Nov. 28, Ohio State