LSU trying to boost bowl ticket sales

Iowa is outpacing LSU in early ticket sales for the Outback Bowl.

LSU has sold 6,000 of its allotted 12,000 tickets, said Brian Broussard, director of ticket operations at LSU. Iowa has sold more than 10,000 of its 11,500 allotment, said Pam Finke, Iowa’s director of ticket operations.

No. 14 LSU (9-3, 5-3 Southeastern Conference) meets Iowa (8-4, 5-3 Big Ten) in the game Jan. 1 in Tampa, Fla.

Finke expected that the Hawkeyes would be within 1,000 tickets of selling out their allotment by Tuesday. Iowa had sold about 10,250 by Monday afternoon. The school will request more tickets if the demand is high enough, she said.

Broussard admitted that LSU’s ticket sales have been slower than expected, especially for a site named Monday as the host for the 2017 College Football Playoff championship game.

“We’re trying to keep interest in it,” Broussard said. “It’s a great location. We went down on the site visit. It’s probably one of our better … I mean, it was 80 degrees. Everything is centrally located. We’re trying to make everyone aware.”

LSU is using a few promotions to do so.

The LSU athletic department and the Tiger Athletic Foundation is covering ticket costs for students who attended at least three regular-season home games and registered by Sunday. Tickets are $80 each. Broussard said about 300 students took advantage of the free tickets over the weekend.

The university is also distributing a prize each day until Dec. 26 to a fan who bought tickets. Fans can order from LSU’s allotment by visiting lsutix.net or calling the ticket office at (800) 960-8587 or (225) 578-2184 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Most of LSU’s remaining unsold ticket allotment are for the north end zone of Raymond James Stadium, Broussard said. That end zone is famous for the massive pirate ship that overlooks the section of seats.

The school was given only 1,500 tickets along the sidelines of the stadium. Those tickets have been sold.

LSU coach Les Miles weighed in on the slow sales Monday after LSU’s first bowl practice. Asked what he’d tell fans who have not yet bought tickets, Miles said, “They’re going to miss a heck of a game. It’s going to be a wonderful, competitive contest. I can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t want to go.”

LSU is responsible for any unsold tickets, a normal bowl practice. LSU last year sold 10,500 of its allotted 16,000 Chick-fil-A Bowl tickets. A Southeastern Conference insurance policy reimbursed LSU for the cost of about 4,000 tickets, but the school still had to pay for $176,300 in unsold tickets.

No Texas talk

Miles’ name has been mentioned by several outlets as a candidate to replace the departing Mack Brown at Texas.

The coach was asked about it Monday.

“Oh please,” Miles said. “Let’s not kick my name around. OK, so...”

Asked about Brown stepping down, the coach said, “I think he’s done a great job there. I think that both he and Texas enjoyed the relationship. I wish both very well.”

Landry named team MVP

Receiver Jarvis Landry won the 2013 Charles McClendon Most Valuable Player Award at the LSU team banquet Sunday night.

Landry and quarterback Zach Mettenberger were named 2013 permanent team captains on offense along with linebacker Lamin Barrow (defense) and James Wright (special teams).

Landry finished the regular season leading LSU in catches (75), receiving yards (1,172) and touchdowns (10).

Receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and running back Jeremy Hill were named the Outstanding Offensive Players of the Year and defenisve tackle Ego Ferguson was the Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year.

Senior invites

Mettenberger and safety Craig Loston were extended invitations to the Senior Bowl, team spokesman Michael Bonnette said. Loston will play in the postseason all-star game, set for Jan. 25 in Mobile, Ala.

Mettenberger, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in the regular-season finale against Arkansas, will not go to the Senior Bowl to participate in activities outside of the game. Mettenberger will instead focus on his rehabilitiation.

Their new home

LSU will practice at the University of Tampa during the week leading up to the bowl.

The team is set for its first bowl practice Dec. 26. The Tigers arrive in Tampa that morning.

The University of Tampa is located in the city’s downtown. UT stopped playing football in 1974.

LSU will practice seven days in Baton Rouge before leaving for the bowl site. The Tigers will hold five practices in Tampa.