November 2011: Gearing up for Dickie V

With less than three weeks to the Dec. 5 nationally televised Dick Vitale Court dedication against St. John's, UDM is gearing up for one of the most important on-campus events in quite some time.

"From an athletic standpoint, it will be the biggest event on campus probably in close to 30 years, or even longer than that," said Brandon Longmeier, director of athletic marketing and promotions. "Our thought and vision is that Calihan will be packed, much like it was in the

To help make that happen, the athletic department has been heavily marketing the event throughout the city. Billboards with Vitale's likeness that tout UDM as "Detroit's college team" dot the highways of the Motor City.

Longmeier said the department is making a conscious effort to appeal to the entire city.

"It does help a little bit that the Pistons aren't playing," he said. "We want to make an impact on the city. Everybody right now believes in the city. Everything you see is love for Detroit. We're just kind of piggybacking off

UDM wants to especially welcome the local neighborhoods that surround the university.

"We're really embracing the idea of getting the community involved and participating in the event," he said. "We want to get them reconnected with the university. Because they were probably the ones in the '70s when Vitale was

The athletic department is also hoping for full student support and is using social media to help boost attendance.

UDM is posting daily facts about Vitale and reminders about the game on three separate Facebook pages (Detroit Titans, Tommy Titan and Section 313). The Sports Information Department is also using Twitter (@Detroittitans) to promote the event.

"We have a pretty unique event that will be witnessed by the entire country," Longmeier said. "We're trying to get the word out."

Longmeier encourages everyone to arrive at Calihan Hall by 6 p.m. in time for pre-game ceremonies at 6:15.

There will be some restrictions in terms of ticket sales.

Students, who regularly receive four free tickets per game, will only be allowed their own ticket plus one more. It's the only game planned so far with such restrictions, Longmeier said.

Limited floor seats will be available for students. After they're gone, student tickets will be for upper level general admission.

An increased ushering staff will be on hand to be sure everyone is in the right spot.

Members of UDM's student section, Section 313, will receive a commemorative Dick Vitale T-shirt. The athletic department will set aside a time before the game for members to pick it up, Longmeier said.