HUNTINGTON — For the last few weeks, it was unknown whether Marshall would be able to have fans at the Cam Henderson Center for its 2020-21 men’s basketball season.
That answer came to the surface Wednesday night as Marshall’s ticket office unveiled a plan with local and state officials, as well as Conference USA to allow a 1,300-fan capacity for the team’s 15 home games this season.
“We are excited to be able to provide an opportunity for Herd fans to attend games this season,” Marshall Athletic Director Mike Hamrick said. “With the help of Marshall University and local officials, we believe we have come up with a plan to safely put fans in our arena while maintaining social distancing and proper safety protocols.”
Due to the limitations, Marshall will not be selling season tickets for the 2020-21 season.
The ticket office will instead employ a lottery system to determine game admission, with 2019-20 season-ticket holders getting the ability to opt in to the ticket lottery for the chance to receive tickets to games this season.
The limited availability of tickets and the demand from those wishing to attend games this season has forced the ticket office to limit eligibility for the lottery to 2019-20 season-ticket holders and current Big Green members.
This plan came about as a reward for both longevity and support of Marshall’s program, especially considering season tickets would not be available for the 2020-21 season. The lottery, which will be run on a game-by-game basis, will be weighted with several different factors outlined through the Big Green Scholarship Foundation.
Such factors include priority point total, 2020 Big Green Annual Fund level, Herd Athletic Fund level, Tip-Off Club membership and pledges to the “Herd Rises” campaign.
The Marshall Athletics website’s news release likened it to a ping-pong ball format in which each ball represents one entry into the lottery. Levels of contribution determine how many entries are placed into the drawing. Essentially, the more contributions a person has made to the Big Green Scholarship Foundation, the more entries they gain into that lottery system.
Those who had up to three season tickets in the 2019-20 season will be eligible to receive two tickets in each game’s lottery this year. Those who had four or more will be eligible to receive four tickets in each game’s lottery.
According to Marshall’s release, season-ticket holders have until 4 p.m. on Nov. 18 to opt in to the ticket lottery. The 1,300-fan number represents a 15 percent capacity for the Cam Henderson Center, which was the number put into effect by Conference USA.
Marshall’s 15-game home schedule starts with the season opener Nov. 25 against Coppin State. Times and television considerations for contests have not yet been announced.