LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Hundreds of Hoosier sports fans were able to experience their first IU games, including NCAA tournament games, thanks to a nonprofit initiative led by Hoosier fans themselves.
The Hoosier Ticket Project came to fruition in December 2021, with the goal of sparking love for UI sports. The group sends fans to their first games in Indiana, who otherwise wouldn’t make it due to financial constraints.
“It’s just amazing it’s been on the gas since then,” said co-founder and CEO Josh Bruick. “The response has been amazing.”
Most recently, a Pittsburgh mother-son duo made it to the Hoosiers’ first NCAA appearance game in six seasons. Last-minute tickets have been donated to the Hoosier Ticket Project for Indiana’s game against the University of Wyoming in Dayton, Ohio.
“It was a pretty big surprise when someone contacted us and said, ‘Hey, you know, I have NCAA tickets for the game in Dayton, can you get them a home? “, Bruick said. “It’s just a really cool thing to be a part of.
People wishing to sit in the Assembly Hall seats for the first time can fill out requests for tickets to be donated. All it takes is for people to tell the Hoosier Ticket Project a little about themselves and how the tickets will be used.
The Hoosier Ticker Project sent fans of all ages, from IU alumni who graduated before Assembly Hall was even built, to young Indianapolis kids with their teachers.
“I think everyone can remember the first time they walked into the Assembly Hall and, you know, the chills that, the chills you get when you walk into that building, okay. And that’s, you know, that’s something that we want everyone to experience,” Bruick said.
For men’s basketball games alone, the Hoosier Ticket Project sent about 275 fans. Most of them for the first time. Overall, the nonprofit sent over 435 recipients to over 55 games.
“It just speaks to the response and generosity of people to watch the Hoosier Ticket Project first if they can’t make it to a game,” said co-founder and COO Jason Gerdom.
People can donate tickets directly or provide funds to buy tickets for fans. The Hoosier Ticket Project also sent fans to IU women’s basketball games.
“One of my favorites is an 8-year-old girl from Van Wert, Ohio whose favorite player was Mackenzie Holmes and she met Mackenzie after the basketball game,” Gerdom said. “It’s a life-changing interaction for an 8-year-old to have Mackenzie come over, talk to him.”
“It can be life changing, just having the opportunity to meet a player,” Gerdom said.
The Hoosier Ticket Project is also sending baseball fans to IU baseball games this year. The nonprofit hopes to partner with youth organizations across Indiana to continue to develop the next generation of Hoosier fans.
For more information on the Hoosier Ticket Project and how to donate or request tickets, Click here.
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