Thursday, October 26, 2017

MSU Basketball Charity Exhibition Receives Overwhelming Response

Sunday’s men’s college basketball exhibition between Michigan State University and University of Georgia at Van Andel Arena in support of disaster relief efforts has proven to be an extremely high demand event. Tickets went on sale Wednesday afternoon, and the response was immediately overwhelming. There are no tickets currently available for the game, but there will be a very limited number of holds released this week.

“West Michigan has always claimed to be a big sports town and a big Michigan State town,” said Steve Heacock, Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention/Arena Authority Chairman and Michigan State alumnus. “It’s wonderful to have real data to back that up.”

“Although not surprising, it’s great to see the amazing response from the Spartan fans in West Michigan,” added Tom Izzo, Michigan State men’s basketball head coach. “They are excited to see their Spartans play, but, more importantly, they are passionate about supporting a worthy cause and helping other people.”

The second-ranked Spartans will play the University of Georgia Bulldogs on Sunday, October 29 at 2 PM at Van Andel Arena. The game was just added to the schedule on Monday with the intent of raising funds for disaster relief. Ticket sales will benefit American Red Cross – International Services and American Red Cross – Georgia Region.

“Accolades to SMG and MSU staff who scrambled to put together the event in such a short time frame without any glitches,” said SMG Regional General Manager Richard MacKeigan. “What typically takes months to build has come together in just a matter of days. I credit the teamwork and enthusiasm from both sides for pulling this off.”

SMG has hosted a number of MSU events through the years, including School of Medicine White Coat ceremonies at DeVos Performance Hall and various sporting events in Van Andel Arena, among others. The Michigan State men’s basketball team has played at Van Andel Arena twice before, against Arkansas-Little Rock on December 3, 2005, and again on November 1, 2006 in an exhibition game against Grand Valley State University.

Tickets can be purchased at the Van Andel Arena and DeVos Place box offices, online at, and charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000 while supplies last.

Michigan State is ranked No. 2 in the country in the USA Today Coaches Preseason poll. Sophomore guard/forward Miles Bridges was named the B1G Preseason Player of the Year and was a unanimous selection to the Preseason All-B1G Team. He was joined on the all-conference squad by sophomore forward Nick Ward. Bridges, who is one of 20 players selected on the watch list for the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award has also been named the preseason National Player of the Year by and NBC Sports and is the No. 1 candidate for Sports Illustrated. The Spartans return four of their top five scorers and eight of their top 10 from last year’s NCAA Tournament squad.

Georgia is led by senior forward Yante Maten, who was selected as the Southeastern Conference Co-Player of the Year. Maten, a native of Bloomfield, Michigan, averaged 18.2 points and 6.9 rebounds per game last year. The Bulldogs received votes in the USA Today Coaches Preseason Poll after posting a 19-15 record last season and playing in the National Invitation Tournament.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Smoking area moves for all events effective immediately

The smoking area during events at Van Andel Arena will be relocated from the plaza in front of the building to outside the southeast corner of the venue for all events, effective immediately. The relocation will allow more efficient access for patrons coming and going from the arena as well as better flow on the front plaza.

The new smoking area will be accessible from the concourse by the stairs located at the southeast end of the arena. Fans with accessibility needs can use the elevator at the southeast corner of the concourse to access the smoking area outside of the employee entrance and will be wrist banded for re-entry.

The smoking area will be available for fans beginning with the opening of doors until 30 minutes prior to the end of a show or midway through the final period of sporting events.

Continuing SMG’s commitment to maintaining a safe and secure facility, security staff will continue to be present in the smoking area at all times.