The past two ULM home openers had a turnout that rank in the Top 4 all-time attendances inside Malone Stadium.
The Warhawks opened last season against Baylor, which topped an all-time high 31,175 fans and poured over into standing room only.
It surpassed the 2007 mark of 30,101 when ULM hosted Grambling for the first time in school history, and the event seemed to be just as popular in 2011 when the Warhawks opened their home slate against GSU in front of 26,532, which is fourth all-time in stadium history.
It all seems like a win-win, but Grambling coach Doug Williams is not a fan of what has been dubbed the I-20 Classic.
The current head coach was not around when the contract for the two-time match up was signed in January 2011, but he was back within a week once former coach Rod Broadway resigned.
“It still doesn’t make me a fan of the game,” Williams said at his weekly press conference Monday. “This game was scheduled before I got here. But at the end of the day, it’s the schedule and we’ve got to play it and we’ve got to look at it for what it’s worth.”
ULM head coach Todd Berry thinks the game is worth a lot.
For starters, the contract is pretty favorable for Grambling. When the contract was signed in 2011, then-ULM athletic director Bobby Staub said Grambling would receive around $300,000 from each game with a combination of tickets and financial guarantees.
As of Tuesday, current ULM athletic director Brian Wickstrom said Grambling had sold out of its allotment of 1,200 tickets and members of the ULM ticket office anticipated about 15,000 tickets sold so far, including season tickets.
“In relation to proximity, I think it’s a good thing,” Berry said. “I’ve seen the financial contract. It’s a very, very good contract, more than we do with any other FCS program. I’ve been in this thing for 31 years and at a lot of different places. I can’t imagine that we could be more accommodating than we’ve already been, where basically this game and last game we really tried to bend over backwards to make sure to give them their own tailgating spots. That generally doesn’t happen and those other kinds of things. We’ve tried to be good hosts.”