By Aurthur Lewis/Assistant Sports Editor
After a great deal of fan support at the Eastern-Western game last year, many people are anxiously awaiting this continued rivalry to come back to Richmond. The game begins at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 18 at Roy Kidd Stadium. Attendance is estimated to be record breaking for any football game. “I think the game is going to enormous,” Athletic Director Jon Shafer said. “We’re hoping and doing our best to ensure that it’s the biggest game in a long time here.”
Brisk ticket sales have created much anticipation for attendance. General admission tickets are being sold at Redi Mart, Fifth Third Bank, and the Richmond Chamber of Commerce Office.
“We’ve really been trying to promote this game,” Shafer said. “We’ve got a booth set up at the mall, we’ve got the backs of Coke trucks and billboards covered with advertisements for the game.”
The anticipation of a great rivalry game and a large crowd has television stations interested in the game.
“Fox Sports is covering the game; this is good for I-AA football,” head coach Danny Hope said.
This game will be the Colonels first of three television broadcasts for the upcoming season.
The game will be available in the Richmond area on cable channel 16, Fox Sports South and Fox Sports Midwest.
Hope believes this game will be one of the biggest games of the season.
“The first one is the biggest because it sets the tone of the season, but it’s still going to be a big game for us,” Hope said.
There will be plenty of activities going on the day of the game. In addition to a great tailgaiting experience, inflatables will be given out, a live band and food will help kick off the festivities. Free cheer sticks will also be given away as fans enter the stadium.
“The game takes on its own life because it is Western and I think the game is going to be very exciting and it is long overdue,” Shafer said. “We should have been playing them every year.”
This contest is part of the OVC/Gateway Challenge, which contains six contests between the two conferences throughout this season.
“The game should be college football at its best,” Shafer said. “This is what it’s all about.”
For more information, call the Eastern ticket office at (859) 622-2122 or 1-800-262-7495, or log onto www.ekusports.com.
Shafer is very optimistic about the number of students who will show their support.
“The students will make the difference in the game and I’m wanting to get as many students involved as possible,” Shafer said. “We’re hoping that the enthusiasm from the fans will carry over to the other sports.”
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