October 10, 2011
Instead of shelling out more than $1,000 to charter a bus for the 1.8-mile trip from campus to the Verizon Center, first-year George Washington coach Mike Lonergan has chosen a more cost-effective way for his team to travel to its game against VCU on Dec. 4.
The Colonials will use public transportation.
George Washington will board the Washington, D.C., Metrorail and take either the blue line or the orange line to and from the arena, a move that will both save money and provide the team a unique opportunity to connect with its fans. The school intends to invite students and alumni attending the BB&T Classic doubleheader to ride there and back with George Washington players and coaches.
The idea to take Metro to the game is one Lonergan borrowed from his college coach at Catholic University, the late Jack Bruen. When Bruen was the head coach at Colgate from 1989 to 1997, he'd have his team take the subway from its hotel to Madison Square Garden for games in the old ECAC Holiday Festival.
"I figured we're not that far from the Verizon Center and going by bus is a waste of money, so why not just take the subway?" Lonergan said. "It lets everyone know we're regular people. I think the people in D.C. will appreciate us getting on the Metro. And hopefully it will bring some more publicity to the tournament. I think it's a pretty good field. Hopefully it will help increase attendance."
George Washington's matchup with VCU may be the undercard to Notre Dame-Maryland in the second half of the doubleheader, but it's still a showcase for a Colonials program hoping to regain its former stature in the D.C. area. Since winning 27 games and going undefeated in Atlantic 10 play in 2006 and earning a share of the conference title in 2007, George Washington has not been a regular contender, leading to the ousting of coach Karl Hobbs this past spring.
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