CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Illini football tickets will be reduced by an average of 17% for the 2023 season, with many portions of the stadium seeing decreases of more than 35%.

The Division of Intercollegiate Athletics (DIA) announced that the change in ticket prices is all part of a new campaign that puts FamILLy First. Following a 2022 season that saw the Fighting Illini win the most games in 15 years, the DIA said they want to use that momentum to build a strong community around each gameday at Memorial Stadium in Champaign.

“From the first time I stepped foot on our campus as a high school recruit, I fell in love with Football Saturdays at the U of I,” Director of Athletics Josh Whitman said. “With the on-field progress our program has shown these last two seasons under Coach Bielema and thanks to our dedicated players, it has been exciting to feel the energy returning in and around Memorial Stadium. The uptick in attendance last season, coupled with the buzz in our tailgating lots, shows that our team has captured the hearts and imaginations of our fans.”

The DIA said that season ticket holders will have access to many more benefits for the 2023 season. Anyone who renews or purchases new season passes before April 21 will save $10 off Memorial Stadium seat backs, receive gameday deals on concessions and merchandise, and savings at the U of I Atkins Golf Club. Additionally, Moore said purchasing and renewing season tickets early allows for fans to break payments into a five-month installment plan.

“As we move into the 2023 season and beyond, we must continue to activate our passionate Illini fan base,” Whitman said. “For us to achieve the goals we have for Illinois Football, we need everyone to participate! We are attempting to make it as easy as possible for people to engage with this program and be part of the bright future of Fighting Illini football.”

The DIA reported that Head Football Coach Bret Bielema led the Illini to finish the 2022 season with an 8-5 record. He also guided his team back to a bowl game in just his second season in Champaign. Additionally, the Illini were ranked in the AP Top 25 for five straight weeks, reaching as high as No. 14, and were ranked in the College Football Playoff rankings for the first time in school history. The Illini ranked third in the nation in completion percentage (69.6%), a rise of 122 spots in the national rankings.

“One of the greatest things I have seen since coming to Illinois is the feeling and growth of #famILLy in all areas of our program,” Bielema said. “Our roster and our fans are becoming more together every day. With this FamILLy First initiative and new affordable pricing on season tickets, let’s continue to build the numbers for seven famILLy reunions at Memorial Stadium throughout the fall.”

The Illini will host seven home games at Memorial Stadium in 2023, including five Big Ten opponents. More information on season tickets and prices can be found here.