The future of Midnight Madness up in the air

Michael Hacku

Boomer the Bobcat will be in hibernation a little longer than usual this year, as Quinnipiac has decided to hold off on its annual Midnight Madness event.

Midnight Madness will now coincide with the Dedication Week of the new TD Banknorth Sports Center, which is scheduled to open for basketball and hockey games beginning Jan. 27.

Lynn Bushnell, Vice President of Public Affairs at Quinnipiac and Co-Chair of the Dedication Week committee, said that the university consciously decided to hold off on Midnight Madness and make changes based on the building opening.

“We really want the campus community, especially the student community, to be fully involved in this historic Dedication Week,” Bushnell said. “This will be the first time Quinnipiac Athletics has ever had a home for its athletic teams of such a spectacular nature, and we really want to show it off.”

The TD Banknorth Sports Center will sit atop Quinnipiac’s new 240-acre York Hill campus. The 180,350-square-foot facility will house two arenas: one for varsity basketball and one for varsity ice hockey. The multilevel athletic mall will also showcase the Quinnipiac University Athletic Hall of Fame, and be the home to athletic training and treatment facilities, according to the Athletics Web site.

Midnight Madness, which normally takes place in mid-October to kick off the winter sports season, also introduces teams playing fall and spring sports. Traditionally, the event has been held at Burt Kahn Court, and includes the introduction of the Quinnipiac Cheerleaders, Pep Band and dance teams.

Midnight Madness events in the past also provided a variety of contests and prizes for students and a slam dunk contest by the men’s basketball team.

Kevin Sokolski, President of the Crazy Bobcats, a school spirit organization of the university which supports the athletic teams and its student athletes, said he has not heard conformation on whether Midnight Madness would occur this year. He said that Dedication Week ceremonies could take its place altogether.

“From what I understand there will be a Dedication Week for the new building when it opens,” Sokolski said. “Dedication Week will have the games and events for the Quinnipiac community, as well as outside supporters, to celebrate the opening of the building.”

Bushnell said that it is too early to announce any new plans for the dedication ceremonies of the new TD Banknorth Sports Center, but explained that the Dedication Week committee is looking to students for input, and hopes to announce any new plans within the next month.

“We have some unique programming that we are looking to students to see what they think, and we’ve set up a campus-wide committee to plan these out,” she said. “I can say we’re hoping to have student classes plan special surprises for each game during the week, but we really want a little more input from students before we confirm our plans.”

Sokolski said that by not having Midnight Madness, students are missing out on an event that provides a great deal of school spirit.

“Midnight Madness is an event that brings together the entire student body to create a feeling of community and support for all the athletic teams of the university. Without it, it can restrict that feeling going into the winter sports season,” he said.