‘Prime Effect’ drives up ticket sales for Colorado’s home opener vs. Nebraska
FOX Sports college football analyst Joel Klatt adapted a term to describe the impact first-year Colorado football coach Deion Sanders has had on the sport, the university, and just about everything else he touches related to the Buffaloes’ football program.
He called it “The Prime Effect.”
“Hiring Deion Sanders has caused the news and coverage surrounding Colorado to be a 10 … always,” Klatt said on a recent episode of his podcast, “The Joel Klatt Show” If someone wants to paint Colorado and Deion Sanders in a negative light, it’s gonna be that times 10. If someone wants to paint what’s happening at Colorado in a positive light, then it’s a positive times 10. That’s ‘The Prime Effect.’
“This was the point with hiring Deion Sanders at Colorado. He comes in to do a lot of things, but one of them is to make Colorado relevant.”
Look no further than Colorado football ticket sale prices as an example of this phenomenon.
Coach Prime leads Colorado’s massive roster flip
Joel Klatt speaks on the “Coach Prime effect” as Deion Sanders leads the Colorado Buffaloes’ massive roster flip this offseason.
Sanders will make his home coaching debut at Folsom Field on Sept. 9 in a highly-anticipated nonconference matchup against Nebraska. As of Thursday morning, the lowest price for a ticket to Colorado’s home opener is listed at $450 on Ticketmaster. The cheapest pair of tickets together are listed at $471 each.
For those looking to get closer to the field in the 100-level section, the cheapest pair of tickets are currently listed at $576 apiece, which gets you a spot in row 26 of section 109, located in the corner of the stadium.
By comparison, the lowest ticket price to see the defending national champion Georgia Bulldogs in their home opener is listed at $87.
The asking price to get into Folsom Stadium for the Buffaloes’ home opener is also more expensive than the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs’ opener against the Detroit Lions. It is 22 times more expensive than four tickets to Nebraska’s home opener and pricier than a ticket to Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat.
According to a recent report from Business Insider, the average mortgage payment in the state of Nebraska is $1,491, which is less than it would cost to get a family of four into the stadium to watch the Buffaloes’ home opener.
This is all directly related to Sanders, who was hired back in December and tasked with turning around a program that finished 1-11 last season, losing those 11 games by an average of 29 points per contest. In Colorado’s six home games in 2022, the school had an average attendance of 42,847 fans per contest, which is approximately 79.9% of the stadium’s seating capacity.
Colorado has not sold out a home football game since 2019 when fans packed Folsom Field to watch the Buffaloes take on Arizona in Week 6 of that season. The Buffaloes fell to the Wildcats, 35-30, and finished that season with a 5-7 record.
That is all expected to change this upcoming season as Sanders continues his massive overhaul of Colorado’s roster. More than 50 players from Colorado’s 2022 roster have already entered the transfer portal, which is unprecedented in college football.
While what Sanders is doing at Colorado is within NCAA rules, his methods have not sat well with several college coaches.
Pat Narduzzi, who has been head coach at Pitt since 2014, recently criticized how the transfer portal has negatively become a way for schools to raid rosters, taking specific exception to the exodus of players from Colorado during Sanders’ tenure.
“That’s not the way it’s meant to be,” Narduzzi said in a recent interview with 247Sports.com. “That’s not what the rule intended to be. It was not to overhaul your roster. We’ll see how it works out, but that, to me, looks bad on college football coaches across the country.”
Sanders hasn’t been shy when it comes to expressing confidence in his ability to turn Colorado into a winner, and that starts with building momentum around his program, which in return, attracts top-level talent to Boulder.
Selling out football games and driving demand for tickets — Colorado sold out its season ticket inventory in April for the first time in 27 years — is all part of that plan.
“There is no more important hire at a university than the football coach,” Klatt said when Sanders was hired at Colorado. “And now, the most relevant program in the country is Colorado because of one guy: Deion Sanders.
“When you hire a guy like this, you are hiring a guy that is one of one.”
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