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"Midnight Madness" Fall Upon FGCU Athletics Oct. 14
10/2/2002

FORT MYERS, FL - The community of Southwest Florida is invited to participate in Florida Gulf Coast University’s first official basketball event “Midnight Madness,” from 5 p.m. to midnight, Monday, Oct. 14 in and around the campus’ new Alico Arena.

Outback Steakhouse is sponsoring steak or chicken dinners at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. for only $10 - with all proceeds to benefit FGCU scholarships for students - but only 2,000 tickets will be sold. Royal Scoop is dishing up ice cream and Coca-Cola is furnishing refreshments.

“I’m pleased to extend a special invitation, along with Athletics Director Carl McAloose, for FGCU students, faculty, staff and friends to attend the University’s first-ever Midnight Madness,” President William C. Merwin said. “Midnight Madness events are held on October 14 at universities across the country to mark the first NCAA-allowed basketball team practices of the season. FGCU’s first Midnight Madness coincides with the fall opening of our beautiful Alico Arena on campus, and we’ve planned a variety of fun events for the University community.”

Attendees will personally meet FGCU’s coaching staff and the University’s historic first men’s and women’s basketball teams during guided tours of the new 120,000-square foot teaching gymnasium made possible by a portion of Alico Inc.’s $5 million donation last December to FGCU. The donation helped to complete, and expand, the 4,500-seat building in addition to helping with scholarships and operations.

Other highlights during the evening include games for all ages, continuous live bands, clowns, face painting and big screen televisions broadcasting the scheduled Monday Night Football game.

A celebrity basketball game at 10:30 p.m. will feature local media personalities and a coaching match between Merwin and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Brad Bartel.

The evening culminates with FGCU’s two basketball teams in several events including a slam dunk contest, three-point shootout and inter-squad scrimmages beginning at midnight.

Merwin said, “I hope you’ll join us to celebrate this fun occasion with FGCU family and friends, and see the tremendous facilities at Alico Arena!”

FGCU is developing 10 sports in its athletics program to become eligible for Division II status in the NCAA. During the 2002-03 academic year, FGCU is competing in men’s and women’s tennis, golf, basketball, cross country/track, and softball and baseball.

Basketball season tickets will be on sale during the event.

For event or game tickets, please contact Kathleen Henrichsmyer at (941) 590-7012.

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