Ball State Athletics hosted the annual Fan Jam Saturday evening, allowing students and community members to meet members of the football, volleyball and cross country teams.
MITS buses extended hours and routes, and the university provided free parking to who attended. About 1,000 people showed up to Scheumann Stadium in total.
“I’m excited because last year we got rained out, and so this is my first Fan Jam as a head coach here," Ball State football head coach Mike Neu said. "It’s great to see a lot of faces here, a lot of kids here. It’s great to see our players interacting with them.”
Local businesses also provided supplies and food for Fan Jam-goers with McDonalds and Jimmy Johns giving out free coupons, while Papa John’s and Texas Roadhouse provided some food products.
The volleyball team, fresh off the Red/White scrimmage earlier in the afternoon, set up a small net on the field and played with local fans.
“We come every year, it’s a good time, it’s a good family atmosphere,” Muncie native Brandon Wesley said. “[My son] enjoys coming on the field. [We] toured the locker room this time, that’s cool, as was the free pizza. It’s just a fun time.”
The football team also provided members of the public with an opportunity to meet Coach Neu who stood on the field during most of the event. Football team players and coaches also held obstacle courses for fans, including the chance to kick a field goal.
“When you’re behind that helmet, you can’t see that face in [the crowd], so it’s great for these guys to have their helmet off, look our fans in the eye, have a conversation with them and encourage them to come out and support us,” Neu said.
Ball State was also selling remaining season tickets at the event. The football team opens the 2017 season when they travel to Illinois on Sept. 2.