The Stetson football program will embark on its second season in 2014 with a schedule that once again includes six home games at Spec Martin Memorial Stadium in DeLand.
With the schedule completed, the Stetson Athletics Ticket Office will begin the process of season-ticket renewals for the coming season on Saturday, February 8. Fans who attend the Stetson men’s basketball game against Jacksonville on that date will have the first opportunity to renew their football season tickets.
Renewal letters to all 2013 season-ticket holders will go out in the mail the week of February 10. The letter will include information on retaining 2013 seats, payment options, seat relocation procedures as well as season-ticket add-on and upgrade policies.
Fans will have until Friday, April 11, at 4 p.m. to renew their season tickets and retain their seats for the 2014 season. Relocation requests will begin being processed after the renewal deadline.
“We expect seats on the west side of Spec Martin Stadium to sell-out once again for the 2014 season,” Associate Director of Athletics Jeff Higgins said. “We ask that our season ticket holders read over all the information in their renewal packet to avoid any confusion regarding seats for the 2014 football season.
“Be sure to renew early and before the deadline to retain your 2013 seats and have the opportunity to participate in the season ticket holder relocation beginning in May.”
All 2013 season ticket holders will have the right of first refusal for the same seats for the 2014 season. Any seats not renewed by the April 11 deadline will be made available to relocation requests and new season ticket orders.
Fans renewing season tickets for the 2014 season are encouraged to confirm their mailing address and phone number with the Athletics Ticket Office during the renewal process.
New season ticket sales are expected to begin in late May, after all renewals and relocations have been processed.
Information on season tickets for students will be made available at a later date.
The 2014 season will open on the road against Warner University, which will also be in its second season of competition. The game with the Royals will be played in Lake Wales, Fla., on August 30.
Stetson made its return to the gridiron last fall against Warner, posting a 31-3 season-opening victory. Warner was 1-10 in its inaugural season.
The Hatters will follow up with a two-game homestand. Stetson will host Florida Tech on September 6 followed by a home date against Mercer on September 13. Florida Tech posted a 5-7 record as a member of the Division II Gulf South Conference in 2013 as a first-year program. The Panthers defeated Stetson 20-13 in Melbourne.
Mercer, which played in the Pioneer Football League in 2013, moves up to play in the full scholarship Southern Conference starting in 2014. The Bears set an NCAA record for most victories by a first-year program last fall, posting a 10-2 mark that included a season-ending 41-14 victory over the Hatters.
“I think that having Mercer on the schedule is good for our program for two reasons,” Stetson head coach Roger Hughes said. “First, it gives us a measuring stick for how we are doing and it gives our kids a chance to play up, so to speak.”
The Hatters will wrap-up the non-conference portion of the schedule on September 20 at Division III Birmingham-Southern. The Panthers posted a 5-4 record in 2013, a mark that included a hard-fought 49-34 victory over Stetson.
The Hatters will open PFL play at home against 2013 league co-champion Butler (9-4) on October 4. Stetson will then embark on the longest road trip in program history when the Hatters head west to face San Diego (8-3) on October 11.
The Dolphins of Jacksonville (5-6) will make their first trip to Spec Martin Stadium on October 18 before the Hatters make trips in consecutive weeks to North Carolina. Stetson will play at Davidson (0-11) on October 25, followed by a game at Campbell (3-9) on November 1.
Stetson’s homecoming game will provide a stern challenge from 2013 league co-champion Marist (8-3) on November 8.
Stetson will face two first-time foes over the final two weeks of the season. The Hatters will travel to face Morehead State (3-9) on Nov. 15 before closing the regular season on Nov. 22 at home against Drake (6-5).
Game times for the 2014 season have not yet been finalized.
Hughes said adding Mercer to the schedule for a sixth home game was important.
“Having six home games is crucial, not only from a financial standpoint, but also to reward our fans,” Hughes said. “Our fans really turned out and supported us last year and it is important for us to be able to reward the City of DeLand for the support it has shown us.”