National Marquette Day changes Saturday tradition

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National Marquette Day will be on Sunday, Feb. 9 this year. Marquette Wire stock photo

Every year a celebration called National Marquette Day takes place nationwide. While the 25-year-old event often takes place on a Saturday, this year it lands on Sunday, Feb. 9, when Marquette men’s basketball takes on Butler.

A petition was started to try to get National Marquette Day changed back to Saturday, which over 3000 people have already signed. Also, a Facebook group called “The Real Natty Marquette Day” was started in order to celebrate National Marquette Day the Saturday before, Feb. 1, when Marquette takes on DePaul.  

Danielle Josetti, who oversees the marketing and ticketing teams in the athletic department at Marquette and is the executive associate athletic director, said the men’s basketball team only has home games on three weekends in February, on Feb. 1, 9 and 29.

Stacy Mitz, associate vice president for engagement, said “the game selected for National Marquette Day is one that is nationally televised due to the celebration across the country.”

Josetti said the game on Feb. 1 isn’t a nationally televised game, so National Marquette Day couldn’t take place that day.

Senior day takes place on Feb. 29. Josetto said they “believed the seniors deserved to have that day to be a celebration of their careers.”

As a result of this, Feb. 9 was picked as the best day to have National Marquette Day. Josetti said it has been on a Sunday in the past.

Josetti said they did consider having it on Jan. 4 against Villanova, but said “we wanted the students to be back on campus to be a part of it.”

Josetti also said the actual date of National Marquette Day is decided by “constituents from various campus departments, including athletics.” These departments collaborate to determine the best date that will allow fans across the country to gather and celebrate their love for Marquette while watching a men’s basketball game.

Despite the fact that there has been a negative response to the Sunday National Marquette Day, Josetti said it has not necessarily affected ticket sales for the basketball game.

“Ticket sales have been very strong for the game, and we only have around 300 tickets left, so it’s on pace to be sold out,” Josetti said.

She also confirmed that the date will not be changed, and National Marquette Day will take place Feb. 9. 

Mitz added that National Marquette Day is a conference game, one that falls when students are on campus and not during winter break. Mitz said the tradition will kick off in Milwaukee on Sunday, Feb. 9 with a pep rally and brunch at Mecca Bar and Grill, located at 1134 N. Vel R. Phillips Ave., at 9 a.m. Those interested can register online through Marquette’s website.

“Special guests will include university president, Dr. Michael R. Lovell, former Marquette men’s basketball standout and Milwaukee Bucks broadcaster Steve Novak, and vice president and director of athletics Bill Scholl,” Mitz said.

“I didn’t think (National Marquette Day) being on a Sunday was a huge deal. I think a lot of the students treat it more as a National Marquette weekend rather than just one day,” Nathan Marzion, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences said. “Everyone is still going to celebrate on Saturday night even though it’s on Sunday.”

Marzion said he’s a big fan of Marquette basketball and he always shows up early to the games and continues to celebrate afterwards.

“There was definitely a negative reaction right away to it being on a Sunday, and I think a big reason for that was people being so used to it being on a Saturday,” Marzion said.

However, Marzion believes National Marquette Day festivities will remain the same despite it taking place on Sunday this year.

This story was written by Matthew Choate. He can be reached at matthew.choate@marquette.edu.