Game #9-059: Saint John`s vs. Charleston CougarsNovember 15, 2012 5:00 pm
Carolina First Center
After the first game of the day between Dayton and Colorado
, the afternoon session would finish between two BCS teams in Baylor and Boston College. The game was not eligible for TMM9, so I considered leaving. The reason I considered leaving was not because I didn't want to see a Big 12 team play a ACC team, but rather because it seemed a bit crunched with the first game of Session 2 starting immediately afterwards. And that first game of the next session involved host College of Charleston. I thought about going out to eat in Downtown Charleston then coming straight back to TD Arena. I pictured a mass of C of C fans lining up at the entrance waiting for the BC-Baylor game to end, and then they would clear the arena and make it challenging for anybody who stayed to the end of the second game to get in for the third game. What I decided to do was to watch the second game near the entrance so I could monitor the lobby to see if it was getting crowded. But TD Arena staff did the right thing and allowed fans with Session 2 tickets to enter after 4 PM even though the last game of Session 1 was still going on. While the PA announcer ordered fans without Session 2 tickets to leave, it was mostly an honor system level of enforcement. If I had been sneakier, I could have saved 30 dollars by not purchasing a tournament pass but rather just Session 1 tickets for each day.
This game would be even higher attended than Dayton-Colorado, as the College of Charleston fans were just as close as they would be for any traditional home game. But this was not a traditional home game. And it wasn't just because they were playing St. John's of the Big East. College of Charleston plays more home games against schools above the Red Line than your average mid-major
, and will be playing preseason 2 Louisville in a couple weeks at TD Arena. It was rather because this was part of the Charleston Classic. And this was not your standard school-hosted tournament either. While the arena staff consists of the exact same workers as who would be managing a regular C of C home game that includes students working the concessions stands, ESPN was the official host. And while it is College of Charleston who helps manage every Charleston Classic, since ESPN is the tournament organizer the Cougars have to abide by the same multi-team event regulations that the other teams in the tournament abide by. That means that they are only eligible to compete in the Charleston Classic every four years, even though it is held on their campus. Season ticket holders get a free pass to each session that their Cougars are in, but they don't keep their seat. If they arrive late, then they will have to settle for a lesser seat like individual ticket purchasers get during most of the season. Students at College of Charleston have to pay half price, rather than not at all as they do during a regular home game. In some ways, it felt like a neutral site game that just happened to feature a team coming from 0 miles away.