At some colleges or universities, a student might spend more money to get a better seat at a sporting event, or even just earn them through seniority.
At Michigan State, they camp.
And on Friday night, thousands of Michigan State students flocked to Munn Field in hopes of securing lower bowl seating for their school’s upcoming basketball season.
In what has now become a longstanding tradition of the MSU basketball student section, known as the Izzone, after the school’s well respected head basketball coach Tom Izzo, this year saw an all time record turnout, with over 3000 campers creating a seemingly endless sea of tents out on Munn Field.
In short, the Izzone campout is a must for students if they hope to find themselves in the lower bowl during basketball season, especially if this is their first year purchasing tickets.
“I want to get lower bowl seats,” junior MSU student Spencer Short said, a prospective first year Izzone member. “The process here, I think it’s fair. The most committed and dedicated fans, they get the lower bowl when they show dedication at events like this.”
Throughout the night, the campout has plenty of stuff going on, from a live DJ, to a 3 on 3 basketball tournament in the Breslin Center, all the way to an appearance by both Tom Izzo and the rest of the team.
With all of this on tap for the night and more, it’s a no brainer for veteran Izzone members to return, as they can attest to the worth of the campout, as well as the ultimate end result: lower bowl priority.
“This is our third year of being in the Izzone and we absolutely love it,” junior MSU student Caeli Loris said. “The atmosphere is incredible. We get to be with all of our friends and it’s just an experience like none other. I feel like everyone in the Izzone is dedicated and they want to be there. They love the sport, the love the team and they love the players.”
As for what type of set up some people have out on the field, there’s a a huge range, with some campers noticeably hooked up better than the rest.
“We’ve got a couple tents, a grill, some chairs, we’ve got a bunch of stuff. We’re ready to go,” junior MSU student Luke Ferris said, who’s camping out with about a dozen or so other people. “This is all to get lower bowl. That’s the main reason why we’re all here. They’re a great team. The Izzone is one of the most premier student sections in all the country and events like this really show why it’s premier and why it’s big.”
Furthermore, with Michigan State expected to be among one of the top teams in the country this year, it’s all the more reason for the event to draw so much attention and have plenty of MSU students excited for the season to begin.
“I’m thinking we’re going to be really good,” sophomore MSU student Kyle Fitton said on his outlook of the team this year. “I mean, we only lost Derrick Nix and we were really solid last year. I feel like we’re going to be even better this year so I’m looking forward to that.”
And for Fitton, along with several other prospective Izzone members, he doesn’t have long to wait, because the Michigan State basketball season is right around the corner. The Spartans are scheduled to play McNeese State at home on November 8th to kick off the 2013-14 season.
Follow Ryan Squanda on twitter @squandaryan