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A Missourian Sports Special Report

Ticket sales tumble as Missouri football tries to keep up

ABOUT THIS SERIES: More than seven years after MU uprooted itself from the Big 12 Conference, the Missourian examines whether one of the biggest decisions in the university’s history has met expectations. In this series, we explore the benefits — and drawbacks — of the school’s move to the Southeastern Conference.

As a rain-soaked CBS Sports broadcast camera panned across a small sea of ponchos in Missouri’s Memorial Stadium moments before kickoff against SEC rival Arkansas last fall, a staggering number of empty seats were visible. It wasn’t particularly surprising considering the 20 mph winds and half an inch of rain that poured on Columbia. The fans who did show up — the stadium looked half-full at best — watched as the Tigers dismantled the Razorbacks 38-0 on senior day.

A Missouri fan sits in empty stands

In this Missourian file photo from Oct. 29, 2016, a Missouri fan sits in empty stands at Memorial Stadium before a Missouri football home game against the Kentucky Wildcats. The football program’s attendance has declined each of the last four seasons.

In this Missourian file photo, SEC women’s basketball merchandise is displayed on a stand during the SEC Tournament on March 3, 2016, at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida.

Employees working the ticket booths watch as a K-9 unit unloads from its vehicle Sept. 8 outside of Memorial Stadium.

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