WSU fans brave the cold for midnight game

Published On: Dec 24 2013 02:50:18 PM CST   Updated On: Nov 12 2013 06:28:37 AM CST

Construction crews work to build a new residential hall in a spot that used to be a parking lot on Wichita State's campus. Many basketball fans, without reserved parking passes, used that lot to park for games.

With the lot now closed, some fans will have to brave the cold a little longer than normal for Monday's midnight game against Western Kentucky. "They'll have to walk a little bit but quite honestly when you go to a large event such as ours, walking three, four, five minutes is not unusual," said WSU Associate Athletic Director Brad Pittman.

For some games on weekdays, a shuttle bus will run around campus. But the shuttle will not run for the midnight game. "On game nights when school is not in session the shuttle probably wouldn't be that effective, simply because there's enough parking on campus that folks can find a spot," said Pittman.

Because the game starts so late and class will not be in session, Pittman says fans might be able to find parking in other areas around campus. But with the loss of a parking lot that most fans prefer to use, a longer walk may be the new reality. "It's something we'll re-asses as we go along and if it's something that we determine is a necessity we'll take a look at it later," said Pittman.

Some students braved the cold to get the best seats in the roundhouse by camping out by the arena Monday evening. They blocked off an area they call "Marshallville" between Koch Arena and Cessna Stadium. Students setup lights, played music, and tossed around a football to stay warm.

The students who created "Marshallville" say making a loud and intimidating atmosphere inside the arena is part of what makes playing the Shockers so tough. "It's really cold out but we're all suffering together. We all want to see the Shocks play. I know fans that do worse, so we're trying to build up to that. We're not too afraid of the cold," said student Max Runyon.

The first 500 students to arrive at Koch Arena will get $5 concession stand cards, courtesy of Coach Greg Marshall. Pepsi plans to provide energy drinks while supplies lasts. Marshall says he wants to see an energetic crowd and hopes anyone not using their ticket to the midnight game will give it to someone else.