By Jesse Wood
With home football games on two Thursdays this fall, Appalachian State University has been in discussions with Town of Boone officials for several months regarding the logistics of holding a football game on a weekday.
Mike Flynn, a spokesperson with App State Athletics, said that a committee – comprised of leaders at the university, athletics department and Town of Boone have been meeting since February.
“It’s everything. Tailgating and students parking are a big part of [the planning], but it’s well beyond that when you think of all the different areas of the university and community that are affected by the logistics of a home football game,” Flynn said.
While Flynn said that the plan hasn’t been finalized and details aren’t ready to be released, he mentioned that it should become public soon.
Home games are generally played on Saturdays – when the students aren’t parking in the university lots, where boosters park and fans tailgate hours before kickoff on game days.
Earlier this month, the Sun Belt Conference finally announced that the Thursday night games against Georgia Southern on Oct. 22 and Arkansas State on Nov. 5 will kick off at 7:30 p.m. at Kidd Brewer Stadium. Both of the games will air nationally on ESPN.
In a release, App State Athletics said that these two games will be the third and fourth weekday home games to be aired across the nation in the school’s history.
“Appalachian State defeated Richmond, 55-35, in front of 24,140 fans in the NCAA Division I FCS national semifinals on Friday, Dec. 7, 2007 and hammered No. 3-ranked Wofford, 70-24, before a then-stadium-record crowd of 30,931 on Friday, Oct. 31, 2008. Both contests were televised nationally on ESPN2,” according to the release.
The release continued, “Appalachian State athletics and leaders from the University and Town of Boone have been working for several months to develop a plan to make the Thursday night games a success, with the goal of causing as little disruption to the University’s academic mission and inconvenience to area residents and thousands of visiting alumni and fans as possible. The plan is in its final stages of development and will be announced soon.”