UPB to Sponsor Transportation to Select Men’s Basketball Games

Kate Baxendale

The 2013-2014 men’s basketball season will kick off at 7:05 p.m. Nov. 1 against Rockhurst University in the Blackout Game at Municipal Auditorium. Since home games will be played off-campus, the Union Programming Board, UMKC Athletics and the Student Union have collaborated to feature complimentary shuttles to and from select matches.

“UPB decided to sponsor the buses as part of an increased effort by UPB as well as the Office of Student Involvement to help draw attention to and support UMKC Athletics,” said Habib Hassan, vice president of UPB.

Shuttles for the Nov. 1 game will depart at 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. at the Student Union. The 4 p.m. shuttle will take students to Johnny’s Tavern, just blocks from Municipal, for a pre-game event. Students can purchase half-price appetizers and free pizza will be provided. Students will also receive a Blackout T-shirt to wear to the game. Return shuttles will depart for the Student Union at 8:15 p.m. and immediately following the end of the game.

“When we officially moved off campus down to Municipal we started talking about ways to get students to the games,” said Mitch Gosney, a graduate assistant from the athletics department. “We didn’t think it was fair for students to have to pay $10 for parking.”

Since the men’s basketball games will start at varying times throughout the season, Gosney said students should check the athletic department’s Facebook and Twitter pages for shuttle times to each game. The athletics department will also send emails to students with information regarding shuttle times.

“We felt this was a way students could get down to Municipal and enjoy a good game of basketball without having to deal with parking and all the craziness down there,” Gosney said. “We finished up the details a few weeks ago and we’re trying to get the word out there now.”

Gosney presented the new service at the Student Government Association meeting Oct. 14 in order to make students aware of the shuttles.

“We all wanted to come together to make UMKC’s first year in the WAC as successful as possible,” Hassan said.

With all the recent changes to the men’s basketball program, UPB and the athletics department wanted to provide a way to transport as many fans as possible to cheer on the Roos.

“We have a new coach and a new conference, so there’s a lot of buzz going on around campus about basketball right now,” Gosney said.

The UMKC athletics deprtment’s Facebook page is UMKC Kangaroos and its Twitter is @TheUMKCRoos.