May 29: Get football tickets for the ’09 season

Though last year’s football season was disappointing, student ticket sales at this point are nearly identical to when Illinois was coming off a Rose Bowl season, according to Brian Amentt, assistant ticket manager at the University. That means if you think you want tickets, you should consider buying them soon.

“Go online today,” was Amentt’s simple advice for students who want tickets.

There are two season-ticket options for students, including Block I and Student Vouchers.

The $77 (plus $10 handling fee) Student Vouchers can be redeemed for tickets in either the north end zone or “spillover” sections on the sideline on a first-come, first-serve basis for assigned tickets. Vouchers can be redeemed as early as the Monday before each of the six home games.

The $112 (plus $10 handling fee) Block I tickets include tickets to each of the six home games and a $35 membership to the Illini Pride, the official student support group for all 19 Illinois varsity sports. According to the Illinois ticketing Web site, Block I members “receive a Block I t-shirt, attend a season-opening barbeque kick-off party, take part in exclusive give-aways, watch parties, pep rallies, and have the chance to go on an all-expense paid Block I road trip.”

According to Amentt, the Block I tickets are the first to go.

“The Block I is the group that seems to go the quickest,” Amentt said. “It hasn’t sold out yet. That should sell out again in the next few weeks. The regular student tickets, the vouchers, they’re selling slower, but as soon as the Block I sells out, everybody buys the vouchers.”

Amentt also mentioned that the time of year when the most tickets are sold is already beginning.

“The big push is this summer when all the students are coming in for orientation, that’s when a lot of our sales come in,” said Amentt. “And then when everyone’s back on campus, the few weeks before the first football game, it really spikes in the numbers.”

Some students may only be interested in the bigger games like Penn State or Michigan, but Amentt cautions holding out for single-game tickets, which aren’t sold until the Monday before each game.

“If the student section is sold out with season tickets, which it was last year, then we won’t have any single game seats to sell in the student section,” Amentt said.

Fans can buy tickets at the ticket office, over the phone, or online through www.fightingillini.com.