Chip Kelly is finally making his return to college football this season, and fans are excited to see him in action. For proof of that, look no further than the way UCLA has been selling tickets since they announced the hiring of Kelly.
UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero told Bruce Feldman of The Athletic recently that the Bruins are on pace to increase their ticket base by as much as 25 percent since Kelly came aboard.
“There was incredible excitement once we were able to land Chip,” Guerrero said. “Our ability to land him was reflective in the match that we, UCLA, provided in the things that he values most. Throughout the course of time that he’s been here, we’ve seen incredible excitement from our fan base, and that’s been manifested in their willingness to buy tickets and to be involved in ways that they haven’t before.
“We’ve sold between 2,500 to 3,000 new season tickets (a 700 percent increase from the same time last year). We’re trending toward increasing our ticket base by 20 to 25 percent.”
Interest in the UCLA football program had dwindled in recent years under Jim Mora, and a source told Feldman that 30 percent of the team’s ticket base had disappeared. In addition to increasing ticket sales, Feldman notes that UCLA has also secured multiple new seven-figure financial commitments from boosters since hiring Kelly.
Kelly’s time as an NFL head coach was forgettable, but he was 46-7 in his four seasons at Oregon prior to that and earned a reputation as an offensive mastermind. Believe it or not, Kelly may have even played a role in the Philadelphia Eagles winning the Super Bowl this year.
It goes without saying that landing Kelly was huge for UCLA, but the ticket sales and commitments from boosters are one way to quantify the importance.