(JONESBORO, Ark.) – As the Arkansas State basketball teams gear up for a trip to the Sun Belt Conference Championships, Red Wolves fans are encouraged to make the trip to Hot Springs and enjoy the festivities and promotions surrounding the tournament.
The Springs Hotel & Spa has been designated as the official ASU fan hotel. The Springs will host an ASU Hospitality Room sponsored by the ASU Alumni Association. It will be held in the Crown Room on the second floor of the hotel and will only be open the days the Red Wolves are playing.
Times for Saturday include 10:00-11:30 a.m. and 4:30-6:00 p.m. with a team sendoff taking place at 5:00 p.m. in the hotel lobby.
The tournament will kick off with the Pep Band Spectacular Friday, March 5 at 6:30 p.m. Pep bands from all 13 SBC institutions will be performing two songs each along with cheer squads and mascots. Free hot dogs, popcorn and soft drinks will be offered during the event, and Miss Arkansas Sarah Slocum will sing "God Bless the USA." The Pep Band Spectacular will be held in Horner Hall at the Hot Springs Convention Center, and admission is free.
A Sun Belt Conference Alumni and Fan champagne reception will be held in the Grand Lobby of the Hot Springs Convention Center Sunday, March
7 at 10:00 a.m.
One of the newest events surrounding the championships is the Dribble Drive to the Summit. Elementary and middle school kids will dribble basketballs through a quarter mile stretch of downtown Hot Springs, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, March 6 at Hill Wheatley Plaza.
Online registration has concluded, but a limited number of walk-up participants will be accepted. Participants receive a t-shirt, basketball and first round tournament tickets for the child and their parents, and registration begins at 7:30 a.m. for kids ages 5-13.
Two additional events that will be open for this year's tournament are the Sun Belt Challenge and the Champions Corner. The Sun Belt Challenge, presented by Rent-a-Center, is a chance for fans to control their favorite SBC team in a friendly pick-up game. Two flat screen televisions, three Playstation 3 consoles and NCAA Basketball 2010 by EA Sports will be available. The Champions Corner will feature four locker setups with jerseys from different SBC teams. Fans can come by to have their picture made holding a replica of the Sun Belt Conference Championship Trophy. Both events are free and open to the public.
Ticket books for all games are available for $128, while single session tickets are $15. Students of Sun Belt schools will be admitted free with a valid student ID. For tickets or more information, contact the ASU Ticket Office at 870-972-ASU1.
For more information about the ASU fan activities, contact the ASU Alumni Association at 870-972-2586 or the Red Wolf Club at 870-972-2401. Fans can also click the tournament banner on the home page of AStateRedWolves.com for more information.
Both Red Wolves teams will hit the court on the opening day of the tournament. The eighth-seeded ASU women's team will take on ninth-seeded Troy at 12:15 p.m. Saturday on the Convention Center court, before the fifth-seeded ASU men's team faces 12th-seeded in-state rival UALR at 6:30 p.m. in Summit Arena.