Intrust Bank Arena is paying off for Wichita State’s men’s basketball program. The arena officially announced a Nov. 25 game with UAB on Monday. The game, according to WSU senior associate athletic director Darron Boatright, will happen because Intrust exists. Without it, the promoter isn’t interested in bringing the Blazers to Wichita.
“This is a direct result of us having a fantastic playing facility right here, and our passionate fan base,” he said. “It’s a good business decision for us. It’s a good competitive decision for our basketball program.”
It’s a sweet deal for WSU. The Shockers get paid to play a good opponent in front of its home fans, without needing to return the game. It also keeps the Shockers in Intrust. It was important to WSU to play the first game in Intrust last season. With Kansas State playing West Virginia at Intrust this season, it’s important to get the Shockers back in the building.
- WSU season-ticket holders get first shot. They will receive a code that will allow them to buy tickets, based on priority points and history of giving. If you’re first in line, you can choose from any available seat. If you’re in the fourth group, you choose any remaining seats, and so on. WSU will not assign seats. Intrust Bank Arena will hold back an undetermined number of seats – some in prime locations – for the general sale that begins after season-ticket holders get their choice. Suites and loge boxes are also not included in the tickets sales.
- No TV has been decided. Boatright said WSU and the promoter will shop the game, and it could end up on a local station, or a national outlet. “It will be a date that we’ll have a pretty good chance to get it on TV,” he said. “We’re looking at all of it.”
- Both teams receive a $125,000 guarantee. The promoter, Russ Potts Productions, takes other profits from tickets, etc.
- Russ Potts will also be responsible for hospitality packages and parking. Parking will likely work as it does for other Intrust Bank Arena events.
- Boatright said the game will be considered a home game for WSU for RPI purposes.
- WSU needs one game to complete its schedule. Boatright said WSU would still like to leverage that game into a home-and-home series or a neutral-court game. It has begun working on a guarantee opponent should no better opportunities pop up. WSU will likely hold the spot through July. “We’re still looking at options,” he said.