Memphis game to require student wristbands
Published: Thursday, January 31, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 31, 2013 00:01
After a surge of fan support for the 17-4 Golden Eagle basketball team this season, the Southern Miss Athletic Department has decided to issue student wristbands in preparation for a high turnout for the upcoming Memphis game.
A total of 1,600 wristbands will be available to students for the Feb. 9 game in Reed Green Coliseum. Beginning Wednesday, Student Eagle Club members with a valid club card and student ID could pick up wristbands from the Pat Ferlise Ticket Office from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. The remaining wristbands will be available to the general student population on Thursday and Friday at the ticket office.
“Looking at historical data from previous years, the Southern Miss vs. Memphis basketball game is one of the most well-attended games of the year,” said Brent Jones, associate athletic director for marketing and communications. “Based on the success of the team and huge student crowds so far in the season, we wanted to make sure, as an athletic department, we are doing everything we could to provide the best atmosphere and chance to attend the game as possible.”
Jones added that the attendance for basketball games this year is up 43 percent from this time last season.
“Our students, as well as the community, have really rallied behind this great basketball team,” Jones said. “Our student athletes have made such a connection to our student body that after home games our basketball players have started to go into the student section to thank our students for showing up and supporting them. It truly is a wonderful sight.”
The Golden Eagles currently hold the fifth longest home winning strength in the nation.
The Memphis game, which falls on the Saturday before Mardi Gras break, has also been deemed the whiteout game for the season. Jones said because the game will be nationally televised, the department decided white shirts would stand out most on TV and the fans would match the team in their home uniforms.
“When the basketball schedule was announced back in October and we were told that this game would be on national TV, we started making plans to make this a once-in-a-lifetime event at Reed Green,” Jones said. “It will truly be a sight to see inside Reed Green.”
Jones said 6,500 free white T-shirts will be handed out to fans at the game.