IU Insider Blog: 6 p.m. starts

The bad news for Indianapolis area IU basketball season ticket holders is today's game against LIU Brooklyn tips off at 6 p.m. which can make it difficult to get to Assembly Hall without leaving work early. The good news is that this is the only 6 p.m. weeknight start of the season.

Speaking from the viewpoint of someone who lives in Indianapolis, 6 p.m. starts are not good for fans trying to get to Bloomington for Indiana basketball games.

That's the case tonight when the Hoosiers play host to LIU Brooklyn at 6 p.m. at Assembly Hall.

I understand to many people this much ado about nothing, however, my mailbag has been full this week from people asking why is Indiana playing a 6 p.m. home game so I thought I'd take a shot at addressing the issue.

I'm not certain what the total number of the IU fan base resides in Indianapolis but it's a decent number. If you figure 7,600 of your crowd total is from students that leaves you right around 10,000 season ticket holders.

It has been a few years since I've seen that ticket figure but I think I remember that it was more than 5,000 from Indianapolis or close to it.

But depending on what side of town you live or work on, it's a drive of one hour plus for most IU fans in the Indy area. I live on the north side and it's an hour and 20 minutes from my house door-to-door to Assembly Hall.

So that means some would have to leave early from work in normal driving conditions or leave on time and get to the game a little late. Luckily, the snow came last night and not today or that could have added to the equation, too.

My guess is that Indiana isn't happy about 6 p.m. starts either. But game times are pretty much dictated by television. And today, there are a boatload of Big Ten teams in action and the two Big Ten Network games are IU-LIU Brooklyn at 6 and Ohio at Ohio State at 8. If IU wanted this game televised it probably had to take the 6 p.m. TV slot.

The good news for Indianapolis IU fans is that this is the only 6 p.m. home start on the schedule as far as weeknight home games. Friday night against Samford starts at 7 p.m., which is better but still not perfect. In fact, there are a ton of Big Ten home games that begin at 7 p.m. coming up including Oakland, Nicholls State, Wisconsin, Penn State and Nebraska.

The other time slot that can be difficult is the 9 p.m. weeknight games because of how late fans get home. But looking at this year's Indiana schedule the only game that falls under that heading as of now is Feb. 18 against Iowa.

So when you're sitting your seats tonight at Assembly Hall at around 6 p.m. and you look around and it seems like there are a lot of empty seats this could potentially be why.

On the other hand, if you look around and the crowd seems to be a normal size then many of you were right from the beginning on this one.

This was much ado about nothing.

Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/Foxsportshutch

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