Patriot Platoon Promotes Student Interest in Athletics

Posted: February 4, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Erick Soricelli

George Mason University basketball patrons at Patriot Center home games will find a sizable number of fellow attendees wearing dark green T-shirts and sitting in an area reserved entirely for them. These people are members of the Patriot Platoon, a group in its second year of existence and open only to active George Mason students.

“The Patriot Platoon is a student fan club geared to increase support of George Mason athletic events with an emphasis on basketball,” says James Meyer, director of tickets and promotions for the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. Meyer started the group after noticing several other area and state schools had similar programs. Already, approximately 100 students have joined.

For an annual fee of $20, Patriot Platoon members enjoy numerous benefits related to supporting Mason’s basketball teams. First and foremost is the T-shirt, which members must wear in order to receive all other benefits. The first seven rows of the student section are reserved at every home game for members, and they gain exclusive access to pregame events such as pizza and wing parties.

The benefits extend beyond home games. For example, Patriot Platoon members were invited to a party at the home of men’s basketball head coach Jim Larranaga. Patriot Platoon members were also the only students eligible to purchase tickets and reserve seats on charter buses for the team’s big road games this season against the University of Maryland and the University of North Carolina. Seats will also be reserved for members on George Mason’s fan bus to the Colonial Athletic Association tournament, held in March in Richmond.

Meyer says students can sign up to be members at any point during the regular season. “The Patriot Platoon creates incentives for students to come to the games and creates a home-court advantage for our teams, which we hope will lead to increases in student attendance,” he says.

For more information, contact Meyer at 703-993-3265.

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