/Coach Prime’ draws big JSU football ticket sales nearly 5 months from kickoff

Coach Prime’ draws big JSU football ticket sales nearly 5 months from kickoff

The evidence was overwhelming that JSU officials were right on Thursday morning. The line formed around the south end Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium’s parking lot when ticket sales opened at 8 AM for the 2021 spring football season. Many of those in line were multiple ticket purchasers. Have a look at? The Veterans Memorial Stadium line was long as JSU fans were able to get tickets for next season. pic.twitter.com/918qG65ame — Tracey James (@TjamesTracey) October 1, 2020 That line included 64-year-old Gwendolyn Bennett of Prentiss, who arose long before dawn to make the one-hour drive to get her tickets. Bennett stated, “I have been a true Jackson State fan since 1960s.” “Regardless of whether or not we win, I’m true Blue, but I’ve never felt more true blue than right now.” Sanders’s hiring as a Pro Football Hall of Famer, was announced Sept. 21. It has triggered an unprecedented buying spree for JSU Season Tickets. Yes, Jackson State has often played in front of home crowds exceeding 50,000, especially during the W.C. Gorden coaching era, when the Tigers were perpetual SWAC champions. These were mostly walk-up audiences. There have never been long lines to purchase season tickets, even months in advance. It was not five months prior to the season. Never. “This is why it made this move,” Thomas Hudson (interim president of JSU), said while taking a break from greeting ticket buyers. “People have been there since 6 a.m. Although I didn’t expect this, we knew there would be a lot more excitement. It has been an amazing day.” Sanders has never coached college games as either an assistant or head coach. He has also never assembled a coaching staff and never made a decision about whether to kick off or take the field. JSU fans don’t seem to care about this. They believe Sanders’ football success and experience at the highest level will draw top-flight recruits to their program, which has been struggling lately. “I’m ready for Jackson State to win again,” declared Emmanuel Muhammad. He was a guard on Rick Comegy’s 2007 JSU SWAC Championship winning team. He waited in line for tickets for over two hours Thursday. “The excitement is real, and it’s growing. “I’m particularly excited to see Deion do.” Muhammad, 32 years old, teaches physical education and health at Callaway High School. He said that he initially didn’t believe that Sanders would be named head coach of JSU. Muhammad said that he was happy to be on board as soon as the announcement was made. “To be truthful, I didn’t expect today to look like this. People are excited.” The high demand for tickets has been attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic. The current state restrictions restrict college games to 20% capacity. This would translate into a limit of around 12,000 for The Vet. “We hope and anticipate that that limit will rise before next spring,” stated Ashley Robinson, JSU athletic director. She has been widely praised for Sanders’ hiring. “Actually we hope it will be 100% by then.” In July, the SWAC was one of the first NCAA conferences that moved the football season to spring. Jackson State will open its season against Edward Waters College on February 21st. This NCAA Division II team is from Jacksonville, Fla. The Tigers will then play seven games in the SWAC, which will also include four home games. In 2019, Jackson State was the NCAA FCS Division’s top-attending college. However, attendance has declined since 1980 and 1990 when JSU won or shared eight SWAC title titles. Hudson, the interim president said, “If today’s performance is any indication, then we are moving in the right direction.” It’s a great time for Jackson State, Jackson and Mississippi. This is great news for Jackson restaurants, hotels, and other businesses. Strong Jackson State is synonymous with strong Jackson and strong Mississippi.”