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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 28 Digital 3

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GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 28, ISSUE 3 49 work still to be done. Purdue averaged 47,844 for six home games in 2017, but to Butikofer that simply means there were, on av- erage, 12,000 tickets per game left unsold. In other words, they repre- sent missed opportunities. "You're setting a tone and shift- ing a culture," he said. "To be hon- est, when I started the job, everyone wanted to tell me how bad the foot- ball team was for the past five years and the challenges of selling in an environment with a struggling foot- ball program. "I heard that and finally shut it down. It doesn't matter. We have a new football coach and a new admin- istration and a new mentality (of) being forward-thinking." And despite the approximate 65-percent increase in revenues (see box on Page 40) that football enjoyed in 2017 in Coach Jeff Brohm's first season in West Lafayette, Butikofer and staff expect to have Ross-Ade Stadium at, or approaching, capacity for every game in 2018. It's an attractive, but challenging, home schedule. For the first time in school history, the Boilermakers start the season with four straight home games, including the Thursday night Labor Day Weekend opener with North- western, a team that won 10 games in 2017. Ohio State and Wisconsin, which squared off in the 2017 Big Ten title game, also visit. In all, six of the seven opponents visiting Purdue played in the '17 postseason. Butikofer said the 2017 revenue increase allows for additional investment in the football product, in part through added sales staff. Plans are to have seven full- time people involved with football ticket sales compared to three in 2017, with increasing season ticket sales a top priority. Purdue saw a 20-percent increase in gener- al public season ticket sales in 2017. A similar increase in 2018 would put Purdue near 18,000 in general public Paul Sadler New deputy athletic director Jason Bu- tikofer's Big Ten roots are a basis for his passion for filling Ross-Ade Stadium on a consistent basis.

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