We've been hearing a lot about the benefits of the Syracuse Orange sacrificing a home game in the Carrier Dome to play the USC Trojans (and the Penn St. Nittany Lions and Notre Dame Fighting Irish) at MetLife Stadium in the coming years. Of course, part of that benefit is showcasing to recruits, fans and a national audience that Syracuse fans can pack MetLife for those games.
Syracuse is reporting ticket sales are brisk, though they're declining to say exactly how well they're doing (never a great sign). SU shouts to the rafters when ticket sales are looking good, so...take it as you will. All we know is that USC sold out their allotment (4,500) and we sold more than them.
SU’s associate athletics director for ticket operations Jeremiah Maher estimates that the crowd will be similar to what SU drew at the Pinstripe Bowl a few years back (38K). If he's comparing Syracuse ticket sales, we sold approx. 8-9K tickets for that game.
Also, the top tier of MetLife is going to be covered so any dreams of seeing 60-70K in the stadium can end right now. The upper bowl at MetLife holds 28K, which means at best, attendance will top out at 54K.
Even if Syracuse didn't make a lot of money on ticket sales, they made sure to get plenty of Orange butts in the seats thanks to student deals and online coupons. Over 1,300 tickets have been sold via Living Social and the Groupon deal, which could be anywhere from one to eight tickets per purchase, sold over 600. Meanwhile, tons of students took advantage of the five free buses from campus, all of which sold out in under two hours.
So the good news is that there will be a lot more orange than cardinal on Saturday. It just sounds like there won't be as many people as there would have been had the game been in the Carrier Dome. And with that, the argument over whether or not this is a worthwhile endeavor continues...