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Illinois Football exceeds 10,000 new season ticket sales



Illinois football
Oct 8, 2022; Champaign, Illinois, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini head coach Bret Bielema celebrates with player Kody Case (87) after defeating the Iowa Hawkeyes at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois football has over 10,000 new season ticket holders. Number 10,000 got a special surprise.

The buzz around Illinois football is at a fever pitch. Head coach Bret Bielema knows expectations are high in Champaign. Though the season did not end like the Illini did not want, 2022 was Illinois’ best season since the 2007 Rose Bowl team. 2022 was the first winning season in Champaign since 2011. The off-season was also a success for Illinois. Cornerback Devon Witherspoon was the fifth overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. He was the first Illini player drafted in the first round since 2012, when Whitney Mercilus and A.J. Jenkins were first-round picks.

The Jaguars and Cardinals drafted Simeon Rice and Kevin Hardy higher than Witherspoon in 1996. In addition to Witherspoon, the Eagles, and Commanders drafted fellow defensive backs Sydney Brown and Jartavius Martin in the second and third rounds, respectively.

Players returning to Champaign have fans buzzing as well.

# 10,000 got a memorable surprise

As a result of a successful 2022, fans are purchasing season tickets. Illinois exceeding 10,000 new season ticket sales is the best mark for the program since 2007. One of those new season ticket holders got quite the surprise.

When Tim King picked up his phone Friday afternoon, he likely did not expect to hear that he was the 10,000th person to purchase season tickets for the first time. Moreover, he did not expect that head coach Bret Bielema would be the one to tell him.

“I was shocked,” King said. “This all happened very quickly. On Thursday, I just gave a call to buy season tickets, and next thing I know, the coach is FaceTiming me, and the team is all there.” King has attended games for a long time. Also, his son is part of the Marching Illini.

Season tickets and single-game tickets are still available for purchase.

Armchair Illini is a comprehensive site dedicated to covering University of Illinois Athletics owned and operated by Alex Kyi. Dante Pryor has been writing about College Football for years on Saturday Blitz and is now the Lead Football Author for Armchair Illini.