With a packed schedule of 10 different home games being played on Western's campus this upcoming weekend, the athletic department is encouraging thousands of students, alumni and Londoners to come out and support the Stangs for Mustang Days.
The weekend emphasizes Western’s strong athletic department while trying to get people from varying demographics out to support the Mustangs.
“We’re going to have students dress in purple and come out to the games,” Jason Young, Western's manager of marketing, sponsorship and sales, said. “It's going to be a great atmosphere. A lot of our alumni will be coming back to support the teams.”
This is the second year this promotion will run. The main event of the weekend is the men’s hockey team's game against the Windsor Lancers, with puck drop set for 4 p.m. at Thompson Arena on Saturday, Feb. 5.
“We've already sold 1,400 tickets, but it'll probably be closer to 1,600 or 1,800 come game day,” Young said. “Last year we had a total of 3,400 people come to campus for the nine games we had.”
Mustang Days is a tradition that dates back to the 1960s and early '70s and has recently been revived. The athletic department believes it helps create more buzz around the strong athletic programs that Western boasts and could increase the attendance of varsity games in the future.
“We have great attendance [to games], which we're happy with, but we always want to do more,” Young said. “We're encouraging different faculties to challenge each other to come out and show who’s got the most Mustang spirit.”
In addition to the 10 games being played by both hockey, volleyball and basketball teams, there are other events that will accompany the action.
There are inflatables for students who just want to blow off some steam, as well as hall of fame events for returning varsity alumni. There are also a few benefits for ticket holders — the Ceeps is offering anyone with a ticket free cover on Friday night.
The game has been labelled a rivalry weekend, with teams playing schools such as Nipissing, York, Laurentian and Brock.
“Every other school considers us their rival,” Young said. “They always come out wanting to compete against Western.”
Mustang Days is sure to be an entertaining weekend full of exciting matches. A full list of the games can be found on the Western Mustangs athletics website.
“Students are free to every game, but it's going be a particularly good weekend," Young said. "We want the students to come and have a great time."