A behind the scenes look at game day festivities at FGCU

Author: Zach Oliveri
Published: Updated:

Florida Gulf Coast fans get out of their seats in Alico Arena for big plays, such as three pointers or dunks. But what does it take to keep those fans energized so they can bring that home court advantage?

That’s the mission for Shane Pelligrine, Elise George and the rest of their team.

“I always go by the motto is that there’s someone who’s experiencing their first game in Alico Arena at any given night,” Pelligrine said. “So if we give them a good show, hopefully they’ll come back.”

As a FGCU alum, Pelligrine wants students and fans alike to build their own memories in the stands.

I tagged along with Pelligrine and the rest of his team to see what the game within the game is all about.

“We control basically, everything that happens that the players don’t do,” FGCU marketing graduate assistant Elise George said.

From scripts to folding t-shirts for the t-shirt toss, to even bringing the team out on the floor, everything fans see or hear during a game day is timed. You could call it their game plan.

“When everything is meshing on just the right night,” Pellegrine explained. “There’s nothing really better, you know in the world for that.”

Just like any game plan, being able to adapt is huge.

“If something doesn’t work, or the wrong song was played, we just have to move on and roll with it,” George said.

During the game, two guys are in the booth creating and punching up graphics for the jumbotron. Pellegrine is on the sideline scorers table coordinating and picking the songs. George serves as the in-house master of ceremonies.

“I kind of got just thrown into it,” George explained. “And I loved it right away. It was a little nerve wracking, obviously in front of a lot of people but just can’t think about it and just have fun with it.”

If this team does there job, the Eagles can do there job.

“When we get those folks who are here loud and into the game, it you know, it’s tough on visiting players and that’s really the key just get people loud,” Pellegrine said. “Get people going, get that home court advantage.”

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