Athletics News
Homecoming Activities to Tip off with Redbird HoopFest
HoopFest tips off basketball season.
HoopFest tips off basketball season.

Oct. 11, 2006

NORMAL, Ill. - Excitement is at an all-time high as Redbird nation prepares to flock to Normal for Saturday's football game between No. 5 Illinois State and No. 7 Southern Illinois.

The second meeting of two top-10 ranked teams in the history of Hancock Stadium is just part of the athletics department's Homecoming festivities as Friday night tips off the start of the men's and women's basketball season with Redbird HoopFest, sponsored by The Pantagraph and Radio Bloomington.

Fans are encouraged to come early Friday, as the Redbirds celebrate the pageantry of Homecoming beginning at 5:45 p.m. with the annual Torch Light Parade. The Parade will be led by the ISU Pep Band and will march to Redbird Arena for Redbird HoopFest.

Redbird HoopFest is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. and admission is free. Fans will get their first chance to see their basketball heroes as the `Birds are introduced to the crowd, compete in a three-point and dunk contests, as well as hold intrasquad scrimmages.

In addition to the team activities, one lucky fan will have the opportunity to walk away with $10,000 in the "Money Ball Shot," sponsored by Papa John's. A randomly selected contestant will have one shot at half court to claim the winnings. One member of Red Alert will also be randomly picked to enter the "Money Machine," sponsored by Commerce Bank, where he or she will have 30 seconds to collect up to $500 that will be floating around inside the machine.

At the conclusion of Redbird HoopFest, the band will lead fans back outside the north entrance of Redbird Arena where everyone will be greeted by a concert from Mike and Joe prior to head football coach Denver Johnson taking the podium to set the stage for Saturday's big game against Southern Illinois.

Tickets for the Homecoming contest between the two nationally-ranked in-state rivals continue to be in great demand. Parking lots will open at 11:30 a.m. for fans to tailgate as they prepare to cheer on the `Birds to victory. Providing entertainment for tailgaters in the East lot, prior to kickoff, will be local band favorite Merge, while in the Ropp lot, Sister Groove will be performing.

For more information on activities surrounding the big football game, Redbird HoopFest or tailgating please visit