IOWA CITY -- Iowa Athletics Director Gary Barta carefully straddled the line between opportunity and concern when addressing the football program's slumping ticket sales.
Barta said the school's luxury suites and club seating have sold out, but he admitted season ticket sales were down about 1 percent from last year. Tickets remain for all seven games on Iowa's schedule, including more than 5,000 for September home games against Missouri State and Western Michigan and about 2,000 are left for the opener against Northern Illinois.
"Itís not gloom and doom by any stretch," Barta said. "Kinnick is still going to be a great environment, and weíll see what happens in the weeks ahead after that.
"Do I think we can still sell those games out? Yes, probably the most difficult will be the second and the third non-conference games at home."
Barta said there's more than 1,000 single-game tickets remain against Big Ten opponents Michigan State, Northwestern, Wisconsin and Michigan. He also counters that even if a few of the games don't sell out, there's still nearly 70,000 people in the stands for those games.
"Itís still going to be a packed house and a great environment," he said. "Thatís a credit to our fans because after a 4-8 season, certainly thatís something that weíre worried about.
"If thereís any fallout from a 4-8 season, right now itís single game."
The program sold about 500 tickets Thursday morning to the Northern Illinois game, Barta said.
"My point is, for the first time in a long time, while club suites and seats and season tickets are in good shape, this is an opportunity for Hawkeye fans to buy single game," he said. "At this time last year, they were all gone."