Excitement and energy filled the evening air at California State University, Northridge on Oct. 16 as students and fans took part in Matador Madness, an annual event that signals the start of basketball season.
The free event, which began with a special Fan Fair just outside The Matadome as the sun was setting, provided attendees with fun and entertainment throughout the night.
Free sandwiches, pizza and hot dogs were provided while live music played in the background. Numerous vendors — including Rosie’s BBQ, Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt and Mountain Dew — passed out free food and beverages, while Sports Chalet gave out gift cards to the first 500 fans.
While some fans participated in free throw shooting contests, others took pictures with Matty the Matador, who helped pump up the crowd. Fans in attendance had the chance to win free prizes such as a GoPro camera, airline tickets and a CSUN semester parking pass.
“Matador Madness was fun and full of energy,” CSUN senior Alex Griffin said. “There was true CSUN pride flowing through the students and fans, and it’ll be a lasting memory in my college experience.”
Griffin echoed the sentiments of many students, who enjoyed the free food and prizes provided at the event.
As soon as 8 p.m. hit, the doors to The Matadome flew open and fans rushed to take their seats and get their first glimpse of the 2015-16 men’s and women’s basketball teams. Organizers had placed glow sticks on each seat in the gym, where fans waved them during the program.
After both teams were introduced to the packed crowd, women’s head coach Jason Flowers and men’s head coach Reggie Theus addressed the fans.
“The women’s and men’s teams are trying to take it to a whole other level, and we need [the CSUN fans] out here every single game,” Flowers said.
Theus offered similar encouragement to the CSUN faithful.
“We’re going to have an exciting year,” Theus said. “We’re going to play hard, up-tempo basketball and we’re going to get this done.”
The night concluded with a scrimmage for the men’s squad.
For more information on CSUN basketball, visit gomatadors.com.