JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Sept. 3, 2013) – In another sign of renewed commitment to engagement and community partnership, the ETSU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and the City of Johnson City jointly announced Tuesday that an agreement has been finalized for the Buccaneers to play a limited number of basketball games inside Freedom Hall Civic Center this season.
The men’s team will play three games inside Freedom Hall, all of which will be part of a special multi-tier event known as the Roundball Showcase. Those games will pit the Buccaneers against Samford (Nov. 21), Stephen F. Austin (Nov. 23) and Marshall (Nov. 30) over a nine-day span. Meanwhile, the ETSU women’s team will face Morehead State on Nov. 21 as part of a basketball doubleheader inside the civic center.
Freedom Hall, which is located less than two miles from the main ETSU campus, has hosted ETSU basketball games in the past. However, this is the first time the Bucs will have played multiple games in a single season at the arena.
News regarding seating, parking and other game-day information for the Freedom Hall contests will be made public at a later date.
“The City of Johnson City has been a true partner and friend to East Tennessee State University since this institution was founded more than 100 years ago,” said ETSU President Dr. Brian Noland. “These conversations with the city regarding the presence of our basketball teams at Freedom Hall are an extension of that partnership and present opportunities for our campus and this community to become further engaged.”
Johnson City City Manager Pete Peterson said the city is pleased to be partnering once again with ETSU.
“We are very excited to be hosting ETSU basketball at Freedom Hall,” Peterson said. “Working closely with ETSU, we are creating a dynamic atmosphere for Buc basketball. This is another example of working together to promote our university and community, and we look forward to many other collaborative efforts with ETSU.”
ETSU Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Dr. Richard Sander was complimentary of city staff and Freedom Hall personnel that worked diligently to make this opportunity a reality.
“Clearly both parties wanted to build an agreement that benefitted both the community and ETSU,” Sander said. “There were some hurdles that needed to be overcome, but from the outset both parties were committed to making this happen.
“Through the hard work of City Manager Pete Peterson, Charlie Stahl and Bob Wilson, we were able to have great communication channels that allowed for this arrangement to be actualized and this bodes well for the future of ETSU and Johnson City initiatives. We also need to recognize Lisa Chamness, Bobbie Shirley, and the Freedom Hall staff for working through the logistical challenges. We are excited that we are going to be able to give the entire community an opportunity to come to Freedom Hall to watch the Bucs.”
ETSU men’s basketball head coach Murry Bartow said his team will be ready to play inside a new home venue.
“We’re excited about the opportunity to play in Freedom Hall,” Bartow said. “This year we are going to have a record number of home games, and a key to our success will be building anticipation and excitement for our fans. An opportunity for our team to play three games at Freedom Hall – in a true basketball venue – should be something that our players enjoy and appreciate.”
For more information on ETSU men’s and women’s basketball and the 2013-14 season, visit ETSUBucs.com.