Tue01282020

Last updateWed, 11 Dec 2019 4pm

News

Hawks Travel in Style Thanks to Fan Bus

news-fanbusA fan bus traveled up to Albany, NY, to take students to the football team’s Northeast Conference game on Saturday, September 29.

The bus left the school at 7 am on Saturday from the Multipurpose Activities Center. Eddy Occhipinti, the Assistant Athletics Director for Marketing, counted roughly 45-50 students who boarded the bus to support the football team.

For Saturday’s game, the number of students who turned up had been about as many as Occhipinti had expected. For years, the Athletic Department has rented buses to take students to games for football, basketball, and other sports to support the players and enhance school spirit.

Kyle Frazier, senior and quarterback of the football team, said that the number of students that managed to turn up at the Albany game surprised him. “It was more than I expected. It’s a pretty far bus ride to Albany or usually to where our trips are. To get that many people up there to the game was, I thought, something pretty special.”

“I spoke to a few of them during the game and they kind of looked up into the stands. I think they were pleasantly surprised. They knew maybe friends they told were going to be there or their families were going to be there but to look up and see students that maybe they don’t know cheering for them, it’s a good feeling,” said Occhipinti.

The fan buses rented to take students to games are paid for by the Athletics Department. “Athletics incurs cost. We have an arrangement with Coach USA but we pay for it. Whenever possible, we try to make it free to the students, like this past Saturday,” Occhipinti said. “We cover the cost of the ticket to play at Albany, we don’t want the students to have to pay for anything. We want to make it as accessible as possible. There is a cost that is per bus but it usually depends on how far you’re going that could increase it. We try to keep them local trips. There is a cost and we gladly cover it.”

According to Karen Edson, Associate Athletics Director, the Athletics Department cannot release information regarding the details of their finances or discuss the deals with Coach USA to the media. Although they assure students that the fan buses are funded by them for the student body to use for free.

The fan buses do more than transport willing students to where their school teams are playing. They are also an experience for students and they help support members of the teams. The University is one of the few Northeast Conference (NEC) schools that use fan buses to send students to away games.

Besides the University, other schools within the NEC include, Bryant University, Fairleigh Dickinson, Mount Saint Mary College, Quinnipiac University, Sacred Heart University, Wagner College and various others.

“It’s a big thing for us,” Frazier said. “It definitely helps with fan support at games because usually you don’t get too many people traveling to games unless you get those buses. I think it definitely helps us with momentum.”

The Athletics Department is always on the lookout as to how to help get students involved in supporting the University sports teams.

“We want to make games as accessible and entertaining as possible,” Occhipinti said. “We try to use different things such as shoot outs for gift cards, the free dinners we can give, the tee shirts, the free items. We want Monmouth students to come to a game and leave with something.

Whatever free items we have or whatever promotions we’re running. We gear a lot of what we do towards local youth and season ticket holders, but my priority number one is always the students.”

Occhipinti tries to make it clear that the Athletics Department does all it can for students. “I want people to know that we’re here to work for the students and I know it’s easy to say, but it’s true. Suggestions are always welcome. Anything that we can do, if it’s in our means, we want to do it. We want to make it easy for students to come to games.”

“[The fan bus] Definitely gets the student body more involved in it and it shows that they’re supporting us, which can hopefully bring more fans out there,” Frazier said.

Contact Information

CAMPUS LOCATION
The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

MAILING ADDRESS
The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey
07764

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu