Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Thousands of Wichita State basketball fans flooded the Intrust Bank Arena Tuesday, gearing up for the first collegiate tip-off in the arena's nearly one year history.
Intrust Bank Arena General Manager A.J. Boleski said of Tuesday's event, "It's going to be a completely different atmosphere when you're talking about college athletics, than any concert or any other event we've had."
The match-up against Tulsa was the first time WSU played outside their home arena within the city. Fans were sure to follow, some experiencing the arena for the first time.
"I think it was great because I hadn't been here before and I wanted to see the arena," WSU fan Francis Ternes said.
Some WSU season ticket holders said they prefer Koch Arena. WSU Fan Ron Engelbrecht said, "We got ripped off. I think people who didn't have season tickets probably got the better seats. I don't know why."
For other fans seats didn't matter. The experience of their WSU Shockers playing in the arena was worth every second of the game.
"It's been loud. It's been a great atmosphere. You couldn't ask for more, " WSU Student Bryn Blasdel said.
"Showing up here at 4 o'clock, suffering through some serious razor burn on my head," WSU Student Christopher Dick, who shaved his head bald in support of the Shockers, said. "But it's been really fun."
"It just shows what a great venue it really is for as many fans as this to come out and support the team. It's great," WSU Student Adam Cole said.
Arena and WSU officials expecting a record crowd of more than 15,000 people. That would make the game the largest single attendance event to be held at the arena. And, most fans said they were glad to be part of the Intrust Bank Arena's first collegiate basketball game.
The Shockers beat Tulsa 82 to 79.