Gonzaga University's annual Kraziness in the Kennel event is back after a year off in 2020.
The last GU men’s basketball game held in the McCarthey Athletic Center at full capacity was Feb. 29, 2020 against Saint Mary’s. Over a year and a half later, fans will once again be flooding through the gates.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kraziness in the Kennel was held virtually a year ago. KHQ and Root Sports Northwest broadcasted the event so that students, families and the GU community could still watch at home.
With new COVID-19 attendance policies in place, the arena will once again be at full capacity this season with Kraziness in the Kennel being the kickoff event.
GU's athletic department released new policies to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at on-campus sporting events. Attendees are expected to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the event. This has been the standard protocol for all GU home athletic events since Sept. 25.
Doors will open for the event at 11:45 a.m. with a 1 p.m. start time this Saturday, Oct. 9. It is expected to run until about 2 p.m. This event is free to attend with limited seating available.
Unlike years past, Kraziness in the Kennel was ticketed and distributed online. Students created an account through GoZags.com with a valid ID and code in order to reserve a ticket for the event.
“The point of Kraziness in the Kennel is to give students, families and the community a preview of the men’s basketball team for the year,” said Macy Ryan, president of Kennel Club. “We are excited to finally be back in person after 2020.”
For the general public, limited tickets were made available on Oct. 4 through GoZags.com.
In years past, Kraziness in the Kennel events have included a scrimmage between Gonzaga players, dunk contests as well as half-court shot competitions.
“Fans can also expect a banner ceremony at Kraziness in recognition of the team’s 2021 appearance in the NCAA Championship game,” Ryan said.
Students and attendees can expect the rituals of Zombie Nation and various other game day songs and cheers that are performed at all basketball events in the Kennel to take place.
From a social perspective, GU students are excited to file into The Kennel once again to cheer on the Zags with their friends.
"I can’t wait to be back in the Kennel with my friends and see the campus liven up for game days again," said Peyton Dabasinskas, a senior at GU. "Kraziness is going to be the first glimpse of that."
With three new five-star prospects signed for this year, Zag fans are excited to get a sense of the season ahead, in a full arena this time.
"I am really excited to get to see Chet Holmgren play, the top recruit out of the 2021 class," said Zack Dwyer, a senior at GU. "It is really exciting that such big talent comes to a small school like Gonzaga."
Dwyer also pointed out that unlike last year, the Zags' newest stars will be able to experience the atmosphere of The Kennel Club. Jalen Suggs, last year’s star player and top recruit didn’t get to experience GU's spirited and enthusiastic student section in person due to COVID-19 limitations.
The women’s basketball program has a fan event, FanFest, which is an opportunity to watch the team play before the season officially begins. This event will be taking place on Oct. 16 at 4 p.m.