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Some price relief for Delaware football fans

(Mark Eichmann/WHYY)

(Mark Eichmann/WHYY)

Most season ticket holders for University of Delaware football games will no longer have to pay a $50 athletic donation as a requirement to purchase tickets.

The University of Delaware football program has experienced a rough patch over the past few years. The Blue Hens ended this season with a 4-7 record. Head coach Dave Brock was let go midway through the season, after winning 19 out of 41 games in his first four seasons in Newark.

That lack of winning likely played a role in lower attendance at Delaware Stadium. Another factor may be the requirement of season ticket holders to pay an additional fee for the right to buy their seats. Since 2011, the UD athletic department required season ticket holders to pay an extra $50, in addition to the price of their tickets. 

In a letter to fans issued Wednesday, UD Athletic Director Chrissi Rawak announced the elimination of that fee. “This is a change in policy that has been asked for by our constituents and one that will result in a direct savings to many,” Rawak wrote. “We hope this decision will demonstrate to you that we are listening.”

The fee requirement will remain in place for premium box seats and season parking.

Rawak also said this step would be the “first of many,” as UD works to put more fans in the seats on Saturdays next fall.

Average attendance at University of Delaware football games topped 21,600 in 2008 even though the team just one four games that season. The high attendance mark was the result of a massively successful 2007 season, which saw the Hens make it all the way to the FCS championship game where they lost to Appalachian State. Fast forward to 2016, average attendance for this season was 16,478. While that’s still good enough for second best attendance in the entire Colonial Athletic Association, it’s not what it once was. 

“We need you here with us,” Rawak implored in her letter. “We need you to help us bring others here.”

A national search is underway for a new head coach to replace Dave Brock. The team’s former co-defensive coordinator Dennis Dottin-Carter was named interim head coach for the remainder of the season when Brock was let go in October.

“I am committed to ensuring that Delaware Football once again thrives in a way that will lead to championships for years to come,” Rawak wrote.

You can read Rawak’s letter below:

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