WICHITA, Kansas -The Wichita State Shockers national exposure is paying off big time.
ESPN’s College GameDay announced Saturday they are coming to Wichita for the first time.
This is apart of their Kansas Tour, as they will broadcast games at both Wichita State and Kansas University on Saturday.
Shocker fans say they were shocked and happily surprised by the announcement Saturday.
Max Runyon is the president and founder of Marshallville, a group of fans who spend the night outside the roundhouse several times a year, as well as, packing the student section for home games.
“The excitement is as high as I’ve seen it all season, I have no doubt all the fans are going to give a great showing for Game Day,” said Runyon.
WSU senior Brandon James also spoke about the buzz around the school on Saturday.
“Everybody here is so excited about Shocker basketball, that the nation feels it, that they want to see it,” said James.
Marshallville was started in 2013, Runyon says normally they have no more than about 40 tents and about a hundred people set up outside the arena before games.
Runyon says with ESPN coming, they hope to double that number and plan on taking their tailgating to a whole new level.
“Instead of typically a one or two day camp out depending on the game, we’re most likely going to be at least a week,” said Runyon.
With the national media coming to Koch Arena, that means national exposure.
“It’s just a continuation the great success we are continuing to have, it’s great to have that validated and continue to be on that national stage,” said Eric Sexton, WSU Athletics Director.
Sexton adds the exposure the university will get continue to spark more interest nationwide for Wichita State.
“It is all an exposure that helps people learn and know about the great university that we all know and love,” said Sexton.
As for diehard fans, like Runyon and James, they hope to show the Game Day crew that the Shocker fan base is just as big, if not bigger than some of the more well known college basketball programs.
“I believe Duke’s holds a hundred tents and I’d like to get bigger than that, I’d like to challenge Wichita State to be bigger than Duke in that response, bigger than the Cameron Crazies,” said James.
All tickets for next Saturday’s game against Northern Iowa are officially sold out.
Fans without tickets can still attend Game Day, it is a free event and all seating is general admission.
Marshallville has created a website for the upcoming game, for more information on camping out or the planned events they have in store for the coming week, you can visit beatnortherniowa.org