4 2 LINKEDIN 1 COMMENTMORE

(Tallahassee.com) - Karl Hicks refers to it as the "clean-up process."

But call it what you want. With just over a week until Florida State opens its 2014 season at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, the reigning national champions are already breaking records.

Earlier this week, the Seminoles sold out of both their seven-game and six-game season ticket packages for games at Doak Campbell Stadium.

Florida State has also sold its entire allotment of more than 15,000 tickets for its season-opener against Oklahoma State next Saturday night in Arlington.

Now, just single-game tickets to watch returning Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Jameis Winston and the Seminoles on Bobby Bowden Field remain. And even those are going quickly.

Hicks, who is in his first year as FSU's Deputy Athletics Director for External Operations, says the Seminoles have less than 2,000 tickets left for each home game. And less than a thousand tickets remain for the majority of those seven home games, which include Florida, Clemson and Notre Dame.

"Right now, it's just clean up," said Hicks, who oversees ticket sales for FSU's athletics department. "We're going out to the schools we play to see if they want to return any tickets, so we can sell some more. We're looking for as many tickets as we possibly can find to move to our fans and making sure that we have 84,000 fans in that stadium every (game) weekend."

Clemson and Virginia have already returned some of their tickets to FSU.

Florida's allotment of 9,000 tickets is the most of any opponent the Seminoles will host this season, while Clemson requested the second-largest number.

Lower-level programs such as The Citadel, which the Seminoles will host on Saturday, Sept. 6 in their home-opener, requested as few as a couple thousand tickets.

But even though FSU has many more tickets available for its home opener as opposed to the game against its rival Florida, tickets to watch Winston and the Seminoles are in high-demand across the board.

"People are just kind of amazed and happy with the ticket sales," Hicks said, "but not surprised necessarily."

FSU's renewal rate for season ticket holders is at 96 percent, which is a record-high for the program and a more than a 10-percent increase from last year's renewal percentage.

There are also 3,000 additional season ticket holders this year, as compared to the 2013 season.

It marks the first time since 2003 that the Seminoles have sold out of season tickets. With Florida State being contractually obligated to sell just 5,000 tickets to its season-opener at AT&T Stadium, the program actually requested the more than 10,000 additional tickets.

"We've been pleased, considering it is a game in Dallas," said FSU Senior Associate Athletic Director Monk Bonasorte. "It's kind of an away game, but a home game because people have to travel."

Bonasorte, who oversees FSU's football operations, says the athletics department requested the tickets in small increments based on demand, because they did not want to purchase more tickets than they could sell.

Seminole Boosters has already sold out of four of their five offering — including a tailgate, stadium tour and bus transportation — for FSU fans that make the trip for the season opener. More than 28 buses will travel from various hotels in the Dallas areas to AT&T Stadium to brings the fans of the reigning national champions to the game.

"We definitely have taken the city by storm, needless to say," said Kristin Rayborn, who is the Vice President of Operations for Seminole Boosters. "No matter where our fans go, they're definitely gonna feel like it's Seminole territory."

With the FSU athletics department hoping to sell the rest of their single-season tickets over the next two weeks, fifth-year head coach Jimbo Fisher is pleased to see how well ticket sales are going.

"I want us to play in full arenas every time we play," Fisher said. "If we're gonna play in big arenas – going to Dallas, going to national championships, going to playoff games, going to major bowl games, when you want in those arenas you're going to say, 'This is just like at home. We play in this all the time.' Don't think that doesn't matter. Kids get used to that environment and they get comfortable in that environment."

FSU's 63rd annual Kickoff Luncheon is Friday at noon in the Civic Center.

4 2 LINKEDIN 1 COMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: http://on.wtsp.com/VKnScG