With a killer of a home schedule last season, Pitt's football team had a strong year in terms of ticket sales with a virtual season sellout. Home games against Florida State, Miami, and Notre Dame, coupled with the rise of Aaron Donald and the program's first year in the ACC, really made the job of the athletics department an easy one. And of course the numbers aren't entirely accurate (Miami at 71% capacity, I'm looking at you).
That was good for a 16.6% increase from 2012 and according to ESPN, Pitt was at a 76% capacity (presumably, based on the announced attendance). That was actually the biggest in the conference last year - really a pretty impressive showing all around.
Going to be hard to build off of that momentum this year after another 6-6 season and a considerably weaker slate for 2014. The thing Pitt can do to make things easier for the sales staff? Win, of course. It won't be easy, but Pitt will have a real chance at a 5-1 (or even 6-0) start if things break their way. If that happens, home games against Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, and Duke could become fairly hot commodities.
One interesting thing I noted was that despite being new to the ACC, Syracuse's attendance actually remained about the same, not even increasing 1%. Their home schedule wasn't nearly as strong as Pitt's and the highlight, Clemson, was really the only draw. Still, first ACC season and all, I'm surprised there wasn't at least a little more excitement, despite the 0-2 start away from home to open the year.