A jumbo hot dogs promotion and the presence of couch potatoes will be two special events occurring during Thursday’s basketball doubleheader pinning SHSU against Louisiana-Monroe.
This year marks the seventh consecutive year for the hot dog promotion said Coliseum Director Ed Chatal.
The jumbo all-beef hot dogs are normally sold for $1.50, but are lowered to 25 cents for the event. Thursday is the first of two jumbo hot dog promotions planned for this semester. The second will take place Feb. 13.
The hot dogs are being prepared by the Phi Chi Theta business fraternity, and will sold by Coliseum workers in the normal concession stands. The Coliseum is hoping to sell more than 2,000 of them.
Chatal said the jumbo hot dog promotion would have been used, even if the SHSU basketball team had not started the season with a winning record.
“There is a formula I use,” Chatal said. “It has to be a doubleheader on Thursday night, when school’s in session.”
Chatal said the hot dog promotion has caused a large increase in attendance at basketball games in past years.
“The increase in attendance can be anywhere from 30 to 40 percent from our normal attendance,” Chatal said.
Despite the success of selling 25-cent hot dogs, Chatal said that in the end, the Coliseum loses money on each dog sold.
“It’s a strategic loss; we may lose money on the hot dogs, but we bring in more customers,” Chatal said.
Chatal said the money raised by the hot dog promotion goes towards things such as paying student wages and other work expenses.
Senior LaTonya Bowens has worked on the promotion for two years, and said she likes working on evenings when the promotion is going on.
“Yes, for the most part, I like working hot dog night,” Bowens said. “But it gets pretty crowded at times, with up to 25 people coming up at a time.”
Senior Andrea Romeo has worked on jumbo hot dog night for three years, and said the atmosphere at the Coliseum is very good during the event.
“It’s exciting, there’s a lot of fans that come,” Romeo said. “I believe it’s a way to get them here. It’s a good promotion for athletics and it gets students out to the game.”
Along with 25-cent jumbo hot dogs, a couch potato section will be implemented at the basketball game for the first time.
Usually a football promotion, couch potatoes is an event that allows a limited number of fans to be close to the action by sitting on couches that have been set up near the football field.
Paul Ridings, sports information director of the athletics department, said Thursday’s game was chosen to debut the basketball couch potato section because of the jumbo hot dog promotion.
“This is a game that’s important to us,” Ridings said. “We need to get people out to the game.”
Ridings said the athletics department wants the event to have the same effect on SHSU basketball games that it has had on football.
“Couch potatoes in football is one of the best promotions we’ve had in promoting spirit and bringing students close to the game, and we want to do the same in basketball,” he said.
Ridings said getting a large audience to attend games is beneficial to the athletes, who enjoy hearing a large crowd root for them.
Tickets for the couch potato section may be picked up in the Lowman Student Center Room 328 until Thursday at noon. The couch potatoes event will take place at four games this semester, including the Feb. 17 game that will be broadcast on Fox Sports in six states.
For all the games, the couches will be set up on the floor behind one of the baskets. A pep band will also be on hand above the couches. Only about 30 students will actually be able to sit on the court, with the rest sitting in the stands above the area
General admission to the game is free for SHSU students, faculty and staff, with an ID. Ticket prices are $6 for adults and $3 for 17 and under. The women’s game begins first at 5:30 p.m. The men will take the court 30 minutes after the first game, at about 7:45 p.m.