‘Sell out the stadium’ introduced
Edward Rudman – Sports Writer
Homecoming is swiftly approaching, and while there may be no sporting events to attend, alumns and members of the community can still support athletic programs virtually through the ‘Sell Out the Stadium Campaign’.
“It’s a way for us to enhance funds for our athletic teams in a different way,” said Tiana Williams, assistant director of Annual Giving. “With them not being able to take on the fields and the courts this season, we wanted to make sure that we’re still being able to show some support for our teams.”
During a usual homecoming, one ticket for Jess Dow Stadium is $10. The concept is that each increment of $10 donated is one seat filled at the stadium since the seats aren’t actually filled. Donors have the option to choose which athletic program they would like to donate to and support.
Donors also can contribute more than $10 dollars, as there are suggested giving amounts to donate: $10, $50, $100 and $200. Each donation will come with a set amount of incentives. The more money donated; the more incentives people will receive.
Donors of $50 or more will gain access to an online tailgate event during Southern’s virtual homecoming on Oct. 17 at 1 p.m. that will entail cooking demonstrations of classic tailgate foods and drinks. The demonstrators for the tailgate are the Director of Training and Digital Support Services for the Office of Higher Education Melissa Georges, Assistant Coordinator of Athletics Facilities Jay Turiano and former Southern football player (2003-2005) Maurice Edwards.
There will also be an array of special guests, prizes, and more, according to Southern’s Athletic Website.
“We’re challenging our teams to really push this out and we have an extra incentive for them to get an additional thousand dollars to the team that brings in the most donors. So, it’s made it pretty fun this past week,” said Williams.
Since the student athletes have started promoting the fundraiser, it has taken off “very well” according to Ken Sweeten, associate director of Athletics and Athletics Communications.
“I’ve been working with the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, there are students who have been sending me videos and other media,” said Sweeten. “It’s a good collaborative effort and it’s gotten an amazing reception, not only on campus, but in the D2 community as well. There’s been a lot of people reaching out to us from places in Colorado, California saying that’s a brilliant idea, we’re doing the same thing.”
As of Oct. 2, the fundraiser has already reached its goal of 200 donors, as an outstanding 202 donations have been made for a total of $9,701. The fundraiser will still open for another 17 days, ending on Oct. 19 at 11:59 p.m.
On the list of deciding which program to donate to, donors can choose to donate to the General Athletics Fund, which is critical to the department’s ability to provide a first-class student athlete experience and supports all of the department areas, sports programs and student athletes, according to the Southern Stadium Sellout donation page.
“We just want to say a thank you to our donors and the VIP tailgate will be for them,” Williams said. “It’s definitely something that we appreciate with our donors. It’s great to have the support from alumni and the community.”