This semester the athletic department teamed up with Dixie Student University Student Association and Chartway Federal Credit Union to put together what is now being called Dixie’s newest tradition.
The “Black-out the Burns” basketball game was the first of its kind. With the help from DSUSA and Chartway Credit Union, Dixie State athletics was able to gather a crowd of 4,000 people.
Wendi Bulkley, associate athletic director of external relations, said Chartway brought 1,000 T-shirts and 1,000 black rally towels to give out to the community. In addition to this, Chartway also brought along a $200 cash prize, which was wrapped inside rally towels to be tossed out into the audience.
Cajun Syrett, a senior integrated studies major from Bryce Canyon City and DSUSA’s vice president for athletics, said, “Students come to the games to support student athletes, the social experience, and who can forget — the free stuff.”
Typically students are expected to show up to sporting events dressed head-to-toe in red because game day shirts are that color. However, given that red-out games and white-out games are common, the athletic department decided to steer away from those traditions.
“Our basketball script committee thought it would be fun to pack the Burns Arena with a different color themed audience,” Bulkley said. “This was a unique game to play off the name of the venue. We thought it would be fun to ‘Black-out’ the Burns Arena and fill the seats with a sea of black shirts and rally towels.”
The entire game was themed around the “black-out” concept, featuring performances by both the dance and cheer teams. This excited fans and enticed them to interact in the student section.
Michael Chacon, a junior marketing major from Layton, said: “I always attend games because of the amazing student section. We all want the same thing, and I think it is really cool how we can all come together and make an impact on the players performances.”
When it comes to themed games, the audience’s attendance and overall participation is a big deal. According to the ticket box’s records, an average basketball games draws nearly 3,000 people. The “Black-out the Burns” basketball game drew a total of 4,000 people, making this event a big success.
Although the students may not see another “Black-out the Burns” event this semester, Syrett said they should expect to see one in the next year.