Kentucky State University President M. Christopher Brown II held several call-ins with university stakeholders informing them of the decision to exercise the Thorobred’s home game status for this year’s football contest against Central State University. The regularly scheduled SIAC game between Kentucky State University and Central State University will be held September 22, 2018 in Alumni Stadium.
“As an HBCU alum and now administrator, I know firsthand the importance of hosting prospective students and high school athletes on campus to allow them to see the quality of the facilities,” President Brown said. “Kentucky State has a beautiful campus with a lot of capital improvements that never get showcased by playing annually in Indianapolis. It is time for this game to come home. It is more beneficial to player morale, fan support, and finances to rotate the game between the two campuses.”
President Brown detailed the two-year process that led to his prior decision to discontinue the popular Capital City Classic in Indiana.
“The City of Indianapolis and the Indiana Black Expo provide important cultural benefit to the residents by bringing in HBCU gridiron matches,” President Brown said. “Recent records show a clear decline in both ticket sales and turnstile attendance. Without a major corporate sponsor, the diminution of revenues to cover stadium rent, game security, parking attendants and travel logistics, not to mention a growing list of extraneous events, it is neither fiscally conservative nor sound stewardship of state resources to continue traveling to Indianapolis while our own stadium sits empty. Kentucky State University must prudently spend every penny.”
The overall response to the decision has been extremely positive with several callers expressing relief that a firm decision had been made. Alumni callers were also happy to hear the background data of how the decision was made.
“It was unbelievable to me that Kentucky State would not be holding such a major game on campus every other year,” Dr. Thomas Calhoun, Vice President for Student Engagement and Campus Life, said. “High-profile athletics events have an ability to boost admissions applications and enrollments. Games like this also provide an important forum for student activities and campus events.”
“As president, I have a fiscal and leadership responsibility to Kentucky State University and this decision is in our best long-term interest,” President Brown said. “It makes this most sense at this point in our history. The current contract for this Classic has expired and there is no viable offer on the table that makes sense for me to sign. The 2018 match-up with Central State is Kentucky State’s home game and we will play it at home.”