April 21, 2009
CARBONDALE, Ill. - The 2009 Southern Illinois University football season will be the final in the 73-year history of McAndrew Stadium. Saluki Athletics has unveiled a special logo and announced plans to celebrate the history of Saluki Football one last time at "The Mac."
"In the formulation of the many events surrounding the final season at McAndrew Stadium, we consulted with both collegiate and professional venues who have been in similar situations to compile any and all ideas that will bring the rich historical past into focus for all our fans," said SIU Director of Athletics Mario Moccia. "With Mike Reis and SID emeritus, Fred Huff, on the committee, we made every effort to make sure that as much firsthand knowledge of our football program's history was incorporated into these plans. I look forward to the many ex-players coming back to McAndrew for one final visit before we turn the page in our program's history."
The 2009 celebration of McAndrew Stadium will be visible this spring when special collector's edition schedule cards and schedule posters, featuring former Saluki greats, are released.
Between August and early September, Saluki fans will be able to select their Top-5 "McAndrew Moments" on-line at siusalukis.com. These moments will be announced throughout SIU's home games, with the top moment revealed during the final game at "The Mac" on November 14. Interviews with former Salukis reflecting on their experiences at SIU and memories of McAndrew Stadium will also be available on-line.
"This is great," said Mike Reis, the voice of Saluki Football for 30 years. "I know the former players and coaches will be eager to talk about their memories of games in McAndrew. We might be surprised by their top memories. There are a lot of memories stored in this stadium and I know Saluki fans will enjoy reliving them as much as I'll enjoy helping put them together for the game broadcasts, in-game announcements and website."
Each of the first four home games will be dedicated to an era of Saluki Football at McAndrew Stadium. Game programs will feature players/coaches from that time period. A select number of "McAndrew Memories" from former players and coaches of that era will also be played during those games. And, all former Saluki Football players in attendance will be recognized.
The final regular-season game at McAndrew Stadium -- vs. Missouri State on November 14 -- will honor all individuals who have played or coached at SIU. All Saluki Football alumni are invited back to campus to help close "The Mac." There will be a special recognition of all former players and coaches in attendance, as well as, a special tribute to McAndrew Stadium after the game.
"Over the course of time, a football field becomes sacred ground," said Saluki head coach Dale Lennon. "The memories of unbelievable victories, heartbreaking defeats and incredible individual performances are forever embedded in that piece of land. McAndrew Stadium has served as the home of Saluki Football for 73 years and has seen all of the greats that have worn the Maroon and White. In this last year at McAndrew, we have an opportunity to honor the memories of the legendary players, coaches and teams that have paved the way for our current team. I hope you come out to McAndrew one last time and be a part of the celebration of Saluki Football."
2009 Saluki Football Home Schedule
September 19 vs. Southwest Baptist (6:00 p.m.) - Hawgs and Dawgs
September 26 vs. N. Dakota State (6:00 p.m.) - Military Appreciation Day
October 10 vs. Illinois State (2:00 p.m.) - Homecoming
October 24 vs. Youngstown State (3:00 p.m.) - Family Weekend
November 14 vs. Missouri State (2:00 p.m.) - Senior Day/Band Day
Note that special fan giveaways and other events will be released at a later date.
Season Ticket Information
Season tickets for the 2009 Saluki Football Season are only $95 for adults, $90 for SIU Faculty / Staff and $50 for youth (high school and under). Family packs (2 adult and 3 youth season tickets) are available for $250.
Season ticket renewals have been mailed. A special early bird discount is available for 2008 Saluki Football season ticket holders if they renew prior to May 15th.
Season tickets can be purchased at the SIU Arena Ticket Office, www.siusalukis.com and by calling 453-2000 or toll-free 1-877-SALUKIS.