NIU eyes lone MetroCentre game next year

By Jeff Kirik

The NIU men’s basketball team will play one game next season at the Rockford MetroCentre, if approved by the athletic board, Athletic Director Robert Brigham said Wednesday.

NIU will play Bradley on Dec. 12 in its lone MetroCentre game of the season, Brigham said at the athletic board meeting. The game will be officially set when the board votes on the basketball schedule later this year.

“Discussions are still going on (with the MetroCentre). Basically we’re talking about promotion and marketability of that game,” Brigham said.

NIU hosted four games at the MetroCentre this season. All four ended in a Huskie loss, but, Brigham said, “the outcome of each game was profitable.”

The athletic board officially decided to affiliate its women’s athletic program with the North Star Conference during the meeting, but also took care of additional business.

One other topic discussed at the meeting was the new football season ticket package. The new plan gives boosters incentives for purchasing their passes early.

eserved seating will again cost eight dollars per game, but boosters who buy before July 1 will pay $30 for admission to six home games. Spectators who buy their tickets between July 2 and Aug. 15 will pay $36 dollars for a season pass. After Aug. 15 all season tickets will cost the regular $48.

Season tickets sales dropped to 1,670 in 1986 after NIU sold 2,018 passes in 1985. Even though the sale of season passes dropped by the 348 in 1986, the income from the games increased because NIU charged $8 per game for reserved seats instead of the past $6 rate. NIU pulled in $53,000 from the passes last year in comparison to the $40,000 made in 1985.

Associate Athletic Director Chuck Shriver said the athletic department’s goal is to sell 4,000 passes. Shriver said the incentive plan was developed with that goal in mind.

The athletic board also approved adding two dates to the women’s golf team’s 1987 schedule. NIU will compete at the Western Kentucky/SIU Invite March 27-28. In addition, the team will participate in the Purdue Lady-Boiler Open April 12-13.