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Calihan Hall will be rocking with fans this year

On October 4, 2021

After a year of games without fans (due to Covid-19), Calihan Hall will against host Titans fans this fall. / VN photo by JORGE REYNA JR.

BY JORGE REYNA JR. / VN SPORTS EDITOR

Covid-19 brought challenging times for sports.

Without fans, where was the roar for a game-winning shot or game-tying home run?

It seemed we never realized the difference fans could make when we watched a game.

Franchises dealt with the lack of fans with Zoom video calls and cardboard cutouts.

Some even put prerecorded fan reactions over live broadcasts.

Now, fans are being welcomed back to collegiate and professional sports everywhere – including Calihan Hall, where Detroit Mercy men and women play basketball.

Calihan will have its doors open for students and spectators this season, with some regulations.

P.J. Gradowski, director of athletic communications, said there will be guidelines from the CDC, Wayne County and university.

As one of the few university employees able to witness games in person last year, Gradowski said the atmosphere took getting used to.

“It was very different without fans,” he said. “It almost made it seem like pick-up basketball games at times because you can hear everything the coaches say, everything the players said. It was quite different.”

The emotion of a high-intensity game is what many people are looking forward to, not only the players on the court but the men and women working behind the scenes.

“The emotions are what I am looking forward to the most – when you hear the crowd cheer, even when you hear the crowd boo, just to listen to the emotions that go through the crowd and help your team take it to the next level,” said Gradowski.

No matter what sporting event – whether in front of hundreds or thousands – celebrating a home team victory with others in attendance makes the experience worth it.

Whether you’re with people you just met in the food and drink line or with your best friend since freshman year of college, the experience is elevated.

The first home game for the men’s basketball team will be on Dec. 11 against Western Michigan.

The women will face Robert Morris for their first home game on Nov. 18.

A year was taken away for fans worldwide, and now seems like the perfect opportunity to make up for lost time.

 

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