Despite a fanbase that wasn't real thrilled with being overlooked by the ACC's Tier One Bowls, Pitt football has managed to turn a negative into a positive. The Panthers were eventually selected to play Navy in the Military Bowland got off to a fast start, quickly selling more than 3,000 tickets to the game in the first 24 hours. Those figures exceeded some of those in previous years all in the first day.
The Panthers didn't stop there, though. On Friday, athletic director Scott Barnes had a fairly significant announcement that Pitt has sold its entire 7,300 ticket allotment:
Congrats Panther Nation - we surpassed our 7300 allotment! #H2P #PittRoadTrip pic.twitter.com/GudwsAOp86— Scott Barnes (@PittADBarnes) December 11, 2015
That's beyond great news, of course. Pitt has long had travel issues relating to bowl games and for the fans to step up despite not being real happy about being overlooked by other bowls is a big deal. Obviously (and with all due respect to the Military Bowl) Pitt has bigger aspirations here. But at the end of the day, it's an attractive road trip for many and one that can be made within the same day for those in the Pittsburgh area.
What's next? Pitt can and did request more tickets, of course. According to the Trib's Jerry DiPaola, the Panthers have already secured extras and will continue to sell them. Keep in mind that it's also still relatively early as Pitt has had less than a week since the Military Bowl announcement.
Despite how many more they sell, this is certainly a great start to alerting bowls that Pitt is ready and willing to travel to postseason games. One good year isn't going to entirely erase a poor history of traveling to bowl games and we also still don't know how well Pitt fans will travel to farther destinations. However, with the strong showing as well as an improved team, the program is more than on the right track at this point in righting the ship in terms of changing its postseason perception among the bowls.
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