A new era in Creighton basketball tips off at 7 p.m. Friday when the Bluejays host Alcorn State at CenturyLink Center Omaha. The 2013-14 season opens with a new conference and new logo.
From floor to ceiling, it's definitely a fresh start in the Big East and the energy on campus is evident. “Oh, they're really excited and then the fans, everybody I run into says I'm really looking forward to this season with the new league and things like that,” says team chaplain Father Tom Shanahan. “The team seems to be hanging in there. They're gonna be good this year."
The Bluejays' first game against a Big East foe doesn't come until New Year's Eve against Marquette, but fans are already pumped about what the conference means for the season ahead. “I love it. It's a really big move for Creighton. I'm really excited about it. I think only good things can come from it."
“We're gonna have NBA talent in here every night now,” says student Jason Nitz. “That's insane that we have NBA talent coming to town, coming to compete. It'll be fun to watch."
A breakdown of the numbers shows 15,000 season tickets sold this year compared to 13,735 last year and 12,583 for 2011-2012. Six hundred are held for students, mostly standing room or upper bowl. Ticketmaster reports there aren’t many tickets available for Friday night’s opener. You can't buy them online, you've got to go to the CenturyLink Center to get them. The box office opens at 10 a.m. Friday.
With Bluejay fever soaring, so are apparel orders as vendors rush to get the new design on store shelves. Creighton took just three months to redesign its look. Most teams take at least 18 months, sometimes two years to complete a logo change. After joining the Big East in July, they knew it was time to update the more than 40-year-old look. "When I first heard about it I thought it was going to be really angry looking, but it isn't at all,” says Father Shanahan. “I enjoy it."
"I'm still getting used to it,” says a student. “I like the old logo still. It's growing on me, though."
"Oh, I love it,” says another student. “I think it's great."
"Honest opinion?” says Nitz. “I'm not a big fan of it. I think it kinda looks like the Toronto Blue Jays logo. I liked our old logo better."
The old gear is still widely available. That look is already being called the "vintage" logo.
Free game day bus shuttle service to and from the CenturyLink Center from Midtown Crossing is available this season. The Three-Point Shuttle will begin running 45 minutes before home games and continuing during the game, concluding after the final buzzer. The circulator will pick up passengers near the Chicago Dawg House (3157 Farnam Street) and outside Saints Pub + Patio (120 South 31st Avenue) before heading to the arena.
Midtown Crossing has parking for more than 3,000 vehicles. Two parking garages are accessible from 33rd, Farnam and Harney streets. The first three hours are free, $1 for each hour thereafter to a daily maximum of $6.