GREENSBORO, N.C. - The court's in place, so let the games begin.
A crowd of friends, supporters and business and civic leaders got the first look Thursday at the new home basketball court at the Greensboro Coliseum, where the UNCG men's basketball team will start playing this season.
The Spartans' court has the UNCG athletics logo at center court and detailing in UNCG's school colors: navy blue, gold and white. The event also marked the kickoff for the campaign to sell season tickets and corporate sponsorships, which carries the slogan, "Got Mine! Get Yours!"
"We want to be your team and the Spartans clearly are on the rise," said UNCG Chancellor Linda P. Brady, who encouraged those in attendance to support UNCG's efforts. "The stage has been set, the preparations have been made and a competitive and exciting game schedule has been put together to make UNCG basketball more thrilling than ever before. Now all we need is you. Come out, support the team and encourage your friends and coworkers to purchase tickets as well."
Brady said that UNCG wants to fill the stands, as it did on Feb. 5, 2009, when the Spartans played Davidson College before a crowd of 11,687. This year's season, with 15 home games, includes Clemson (Nov. 20), Wake Forest (Dec. 28), N.C. State (Dec. 31) and Maryland (Jan. 3) of the Atlantic Coast Conference, along with East Carolina (Nov. 28), Princeton (Dec. 13) and Southern Conference opponents.
"North Carolina is a basketball state and Greensboro is a basketball town. I'm sure that with the support of the community and with great match-ups right here, attendance will grow," she said. "The location is convenient, this facility is outstanding and ticket prices are affordable for great family entertainment."
Coliseum Managing Director Matt Brown praised Brady's willingness to make the move to the Coliseum. "We are thrilled to be working with Chancellor Brady and UNCG on this mutually beneficial partnership. We have a new UNCG home court and UNCG locker room ready and waiting for what should be an incredibly exciting first season at the Coliseum."
Also on the program were Tim Rice, president and CEO of Moses Cone Health System, who is serving as "community coach" for the ticket and sponsorship drive; East Carolina Athletics Director Terry Holland; and Mike Dement, UNCG men's basketball coach.
Rice said, "As a long-time member of the Greensboro community, I enjoy supporting important initiatives for our city. I am a big basketball fan. And I am definitely a fan of UNCG and of all of the wonderful ways in which this outstanding university helps make Greensboro a great place to live. That is why I am involved with UNCG and why I serve on the Coliseum Commission. I believe in this city, I believe in the Coliseum and I believe in UNCG. This partnership is very exciting to me."
Terry Holland discussed the power that a single goal can have when it is held by a group. "Before you can achieve, you have to believe," he said. "In today's world we often forget what needs to be done or we let others do it. The power of one comes from what you can accomplish with one goal."
Mike Dement thanked Brady and the Coliseum for their commitment to the basketball program. He kidded Holland and said, "We're going to have lots of great games here, starting on Nov. 28." That's the date UNCG plays East Carolina, which happens to be Dement's alma mater.
Some facts about the floor note that it:
Chancellor Brady announced plans to move the men's basketball program to the Coliseum last year, and efforts have been under way in both scheduling and marketing the program. Visit the schedule page for more information. All dates and times are tentative and may change as television schedules evolve.
UNCG is a member of the Southern Conference and has played in Division I of the NCAA since 1991. It fields nine men's and nine women's teams. In 30 years, UNCG men's basketball has played 39 games in the Greensboro Coliseum - three of them against teams from the ACC: Virginia Tech (2006-07 season), Duke (2005-06) and Florida State (1994-95). It has played ACC opponents 27 times. The Duke game, on Dec. 31, 2005, drew almost 21,000 spectators - the largest crowd ever to see a UNCG men's basketball game, when the Blue Devils were ranked No. 1 nationally.
Season ticket packages are available now through the UNCG Athletics Ticket Office by calling 336-334-3250. Packages are available for $99 in the upper level and $149 in the lower level. Information on Spartan Club member season ticket packages can be obtained by calling 336-334-5156 or online at www.spartanclub.org. Corporate sponsorship information can be obtained by calling 336-334-4464 or 336-334-3252.
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