BASKETBALL ISSUE | Filling the house

It’s game day. You make it across the high volume of traffic in the streets and through the large groups of people cluttering the campus sidewalks, finally arriving at your destination: Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Photo by Maria Porter

It’s a sporting experience that couldn’t be created without a cohesive and meticulous plan of action. A myriad of people and organizations must come together to make game day possible.

With the enormous influx of cars pouring onto Butler’s campus prior to game time, the Butler University Police Department implements a premeditated plan for home basketball games.

However, because of the current “celebrity-like” status of the Butler name, some crucial changes have to be put into effect regarding BUPD’s basketball operational plan this upcoming season.

Police Chief Ben Hunter said sweeping the venue prior to every game for bombs and devices to ensure the safety of the event is a warranted change because of the publicity of the Butler name on the national stage.

“Before, I had people ask me where Butler was located,” Hunter said. “We don’t have that issue now. With that comes a little bit of a different concern.”

BUPD isn’t the only organization experiencing changes since the heightened publicity of the Butler basketball program.

The Butler Athletic ticket office does not have much downtime during the season or offseason, either.

“As our success has grown, the busy time has really become year round,” manager of fan development Matt Harris said. “It used to be really slow at certain parts of the year, but now even those times of the year are busy preparing for things in the upcoming season.”

On a typical game day, the ticket office has to hire ticket sellers to work anywhere from six to eight available windows, in addition to five to eight will call workers.

Although a great deal of his work comes during the week, Harris still has game-day duties.

The concession stand operations are also ramped up prior to game day.

All of the food, paper supplies and drinks must be in place at least a week before the game. With two days remaining before game day, all of the outside vendors­—Chik-fil-A, Dominos and Penn Station—order game day food.

Head of concession operations Eric Richter said student workers and volunteer groups do a great deal of work for concession set-up prior to and during actual game day and start an hour and a half early.

“On game day student workers come in four hours before the game and start to ice down all beverages, prepare food and make sure the stands are ready to open,” Richter said.

No Butler basketball game would be complete without the work of sports marketing and promotions manager Lindsay Martin, who concentrates primarily on the fan craze.

Martin coordinates the timeout and halftime promotions, game programs, band, cheerleaders and dance team, any contest registration, the kids’ tunnel for starting lineups and any
group hospitality events.

As Butler basketball hysteria continues to sweep across the nation, the university will be prepared for the integral workings of the increased fan base and all that goes along with it.

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