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Tickets remain for first IWU game

By CHUCK LANDIS - clandis@chronicle-tribune.com

A calendar inside the locker room is counting down the days until the Indiana Wesleyan University football team’s first ever game against cross-county rival Taylor.

In case you forgot, it is t-minus 24 days and counting until the Wildcats take the field for the first time Sept. 1 after nearly two years of planning, and the excitement is building for the inaugural game, according to IWU Athletic Director Mark DeMichael.

“Everywhere I go around Grant County and on campus when I’m wearing IWU gear or people recognize me, they want to talk about IWU football, and that’s great,” DeMichael said Wednesday afternoon “That’s exactly what we were hoping would happen.

“One of our goals is for the community and Grant County to take ownership in the fact IWU is their local football team,” he added. “... I love the fact people are excited about IWU football.”

The game starts at 4 p.m. and tickets still are available despite rumors that it already was sold out. Tickets are $11 for adults, $9 for students ages six to 18 and $2 for children five and under and can be purchased on the IWU athletics web site at iwuathletics.com. DeMichael said around 500 tickets remain available.

About 4,500 tickets already have been sold and DeMichael said game day admission will be limited to just over 5,000 fans. Premium seats are sold out and general admission bleacher seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

“If you buy a ticket at game time you probably are going to be sitting on the berm or standing in back of the sidewalk,” DeMichael said. “Bleacher seats will probably be all sold by game time.

“We’ve got plenty of room, but we want for those that are there to be a good experience and we don’t want to keep cramming people in there,” he added.

The anticipated crowd could be one of the largest, if not the largest, to attend a Grant County football game in at least 30 years. There have been well-attended high school games, including last year’s playoff game between Marion and Mississinewa, but DeMichael anticipates the IWU-Taylor football game to be a high point in their athletic rivalry.

“That’s what we’re hoping for, and we want it to be a big event,” he said. “I know there’s been some pretty big high school games in the county over the years, but we think it stands above any college events anyway as far as the size of the event and the attraction that it has for our whole community.”

While it will be a big event, DeMichael doesn’t plan to turn the game into an extravaganza with lots of pre-game festivities. There will be a few flourishes, but nothing that will compete with the game.

“It will be around the game that day,” DeMichael said. “There will be Wesleyan tailgating going on and have sky divers come in stadium before the game and a flyover during the National Anthem. We’re not going to have a bunch of stuff on the campus before, and it’s the end of our new student orientation. We will build up the game and make that the event of the day.”

Season ticket packages still are available for the five home games for $55 and also can be purchased at iwuathletics.com.

The players reported Saturday and began practice for their first game and season.