MU hosts Choose-A-Seat Day
HUNTINGTON -- It's only June, but Saturday had a bit of a fall feel to it for Marshall University's football program and athletic department.
Saturday was the first Choose-A-Seat Day promotion of the summer for Marshall football fans to check out their view of the field and lock down season tickets for the 2014 season.
"We're well aware that this time of year people are traveling with vacations and what-not, but it does give them a chance to come into the stadium and take a look around," said Aaron Goebbel, Marshall University's associate director of athletics for external affairs."
With Marshall undergoing a reseating process for people involved with the Big Green Scholarship Foundation this season, Goebbel said the Choose-A-Seat days take on a bigger importance for 2014.
"With the fact that we went through the seat selection process, technically, we are on sale to the general public a little later than we traditionally are," Goebbel said. "Some of the folks who weren't involved in that process, but who have had tickets in the past, it gives them a chance to come out.
"Now that we've gone through that and we've got everybody situated, they can come out and see what's available and purchase season tickets."
Marshall's football program is expected to reach great heights this year behind Heisman Trophy quarterback candidate Rakeem Cato, who led the team to a 10-win season and a Military Bowl win in 2013.
That success, coupled with the expectations, has much of the community buzzing about Marshall football -- another reason why Goebbel and his staff are having Choose-A-Seat days for fans to get their preferred sightline to take in what is expected to be a memorable season.
Goebbel said if fans are wanting to ensure they get their preferred seating they need to purchase the tickets sooner, rather than wait until closer to the start of the season.
"We've had fans who have had tickets in the past and gave them up for various reasons, but with all the hype around the 2014 season, naturally, we are going to get a lot more interest," he said.
On Saturday, fans from as far as Hilton Head, S.C., and Iowa came to check out what was available for the 2014 season while also getting a chance to see renovations at Joan C. Edwards that include a new artificial surface, new goalposts and a cleaner look in the south end zone with a stone facade and "Thundering Herd" in script on the artificial turf, which replaces the old grass surface in the end zone.
In addition to seeing the field, fans got to interact with several Marshall football players who stayed around after being dismissed Friday for a Fourth of July break from summer workouts.
The 15 players signed posters and posed for pictures on the muggy, but overcast afternoon.
Defensive tackle James Rouse said events like Saturday help bring the team one step closer to the community.
"We have the best fan base in the nation," Rouse said. "They mean everything to us and anytime we can show them that we are out here and we are trying to work for them so they'll come to games, that helps a lot. It also excites us because when they come out, we know our fans are excited to see us.
"They understand the expectations and that makes us want to work that much harder. We're wanting a lot of our games sold out this year and we are looking forward to that packed house, so if they want to get the ticket, they'd better come see us at these events."
Goebbel said more Choose-A-Seat days are in store for the near future with one coming up in July.
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