Western Illinois University’s men and women basketball players will make history on Friday, Dec. 16, when they host a doubleheader inside the Vibrant Arena at the Mark of the Quad Cities.
“We are pleased to be able to schedule these games at the Vibrant Arena,” WIU Director of Athletics Paul A. Bubb said in a news release. “Playing basketball, and in the future other sports as well, in the Quad Cities makes sense so we can bring our programs to our students who live and attend our Quad Cities campus as well as our alumni and fans who live in the Quad Cities.”
The event allows the university to feature both its men’s and women’s basketball standouts together on the same night on the same court. The Leatherneck women will open the evening by taking on Chicago’s St. Xavier University Cougars at 5:30 p.m. The Leatherneck men will host the Eureka College Red Devils at 7:30 p.m.
While this is the first time the Western Illinois men and women have played a regular season doubleheader in Moline, the basketball programs are no strangers to playing in the Quad Cities, or inside the Mark. The Leatherneck women played at the arena that hosted the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament from 1996-1999 and the Leatherneck men also played Iowa in Moline in 1996 and 1998.
College basketball has been at home in the Quad Cities arena for decades. Most recently, the Mark has regularly hosted the Missouri Valley Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament, which have featured some of the top collegiate women’s basketball programs in the country.
The pair of Leatherneck games scheduled for this December are part of the Western Illinois season ticket package for home games. There will be an exchange for a reserved seat at Vibrant Arena for those who purchase season tickets in advance. Western Illinois will not sell individual game tickets for the game through the Western Illinois ticket office.
Information on single-game tickets, to be sold through Vibrant Arena, will be made available at a later date.