Back to Bowen Field House
Saturday night, during the first half of the football game, EMU announced something fans had been seeking for a while: a series of basketball games in Bowen Field House. Built in 1955, the building that came to be known as “The Old Barn” was home to EMU basketball games until the Convocation Center opened in 1997, and continues to be used for EMU gymnastics, wrestling, and indoor track & field.
On November 12 the men’s basketball team will host Concordia University — although they’re an NAIA team, I’ll guess that this will be listed as the first or second regular-season game for the Eagles — followed by a women’s basketball match-up with Butler November 13. The series will conclude with a double-header of sorts November 14, with 3rd Annual Alumni vs. Students game followed by a men’s basketball game against Robert Morris, and a simultaneous “Taste of Ypsi” event.
Although Bowen’s permanent capacity was expanded to 4,800 in 1982, with a potential 6,000 person seating capacity, this series will use the original seating arrangement, so there will only be 2,000 seats available for each game, with 500 reserved for students, who will still get in free but will need a ticket to do so. For early-season opponents of this caliber, they’d probably draw about 1,000 to 1,500 fans in the Convo, so if the novelty (and convenience for students) of these games increase the attendance, sold-out games are possible, though I’d guess just barely. Tickets for these games will not be included in season ticket packages, though there is a series ticket that can be bought. Get all the details at the special page EMU has set up for the event.
As for the rest of the men’s basketball games, EMU is notoriously late in announcing the schedule — the last few years they’ve released it in late August or early September, but continued to adjust things well after that — but sometimes we can get a leg up on the official announcement by gleaning match-ups as opposing schools announce their schedules. This year, it appears that the men’s basketball non-conference schedule will include trips to Purdue (November 20), Kentucky (November 27), Oakland (December 21), and Syracuse (December 31). They’ll host UMass on December 3 (as part of the Minutemen’s agreement to play football in the MAC, they’re required to schedule a certain number of MAC basketball teams each year), and on January 4 they’ll host Rochester College, in a game that should be termed a scrimmage — that’s how the Warriors are listing it — but which experience suggests EMU will call a regular season game.
There do not appear to be games scheduled against Michigan or Michigan State, whose only schedules look reasonably complete. They’re also not currently on the schedules of any of the other local “usual suspects” like Wayne State, and Detroit, although those schedules did not look complete to me. Finally, it’s worth remembering that the ESPN BracketBusters event is over, so there should be no late non-conference game in the middle of the MAC season.