‘Brand New Cam’ awaits Herd fans this weekend

Published 8:42 pm Thursday, December 15, 2022


Marshall Athletics

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – The next time Marshall fans venture to Huntington for a basketball game, a “Brand New Cam” will await them.

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On Saturday, Marshall will unveil several new features that will take the in-game experience at Cam Henderson Center to new heights when the Thundering Herd hosts Toledo at 3:30 p.m.

Marshall Director of Athletics Christian Spears said the venture was vital to maintaining the high standards of fan experience that he wants for his sports programs.

“When you get the chance to improve the fan experience and augment the atmosphere in your arena, it’s just a huge win-win for everyone involved,” Spears said. “The fans will benefit from the significant upgrades and, in turn, that will lead to a better overall experience for our coaches and student-athletes. In this scenario, everyone wins.”

Here is a breakdown of the changes to be anticipated at Cam Henderson Center:


Atop the Cam Henderson Center, the area known as “Herd Heaven” will feature large banners that say “The Herd” and “Marshall” across the top in a move that was put into motion to create a more intimate setting, as well as a safer environment for Marshall fans. With the addition of the banners, the new seating capacity of the Cam Henderson Center will now be 5,467 fans.

“The banners are there for safety reasons and to ensure our fans have access to great seats just below them,” Spears said. “With our fans being closer to the action, that will no doubt elevate the overall atmosphere.”

The large banners, which were installed by Signarama this week, offer an opportunity to spice up “The Cam” while also producing a more aesthetically-pleasing look on television as well.


As fans make their way into Cam Henderson Center on Saturday, they will do so with the new ability to purchase alcohol on the premises, thanks to collaboration of Marshall President Brad D. Smith, Marshall’s Board of Governors and Craig Shelton of the West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Administration (WVABCA).

Shelton, who is the WVABCA enforcement supervisor, worked with Marshall’s administration on a rezoning project that enables the possession or sale of alcohol on properly licensed premises on campus, which now includes Cam Henderson Center.

“I’m appreciative for the advice and counsel received by Craig Shelton and his team at the WVABCA,” said Teddy Kluemper, Marshall’s Associate Athletic Director for Development. “It is our hope that alcohol sales will continue to enhance the gameday experience.”

Spears said that allowing alcohol sales in a responsible fashion will add to the in-game experience for fans while also serving as a revenue-generator for the university, which they can in turn flow into other projects.

“As simple as it sounds, the ability to have a cold one at a sporting event should be an expectation,” Spears said. “We can finally do that now at ‘The Cam.’ I’m extremely grateful to the good people who approved this measure. Let’s make sure that we take advantage of this opportunity responsibly and respectfully!”

To ensure that the addition of beer and wine to Cam Henderson Center events is done in a responsible and respectful manner, there are several measures being implemented. Alcohol sales will cease at the 10-minute mark of men’s basketball games and at the end of the third quarter for women’s basketball games. Also, no alcohol purchased inside Cam Henderson Center is permitted to leave the arena at any time. Alcohol will be sold in cans to keep in line with Marshall University’s recycling initiative and safety measures, as well.

Points of purchase for alcohol will include the floor-level concession area and a portable set up in the upper concourse near the women’s basketball offices. In-game service will also be available to those in courtside floor seats, courtside tables and suites, as well as those in the Party Zone.

Basketball court

Timelapse of Marshall court installation

Perhaps the most visible change for fans on Saturday will come with the new floor of the Cam Henderson Center.

The new court arrives in Huntington after serving as host to several teams in the 2022 NCAA Tournament regional in San Antonio.

The floor features black baselines featuring “Marshall Thundering Herd” on each end and sidelines that feature Marshall Health on the teams side with a script “Marshall” near mid-court on the press row side.

The playing area boasts of a beautiful wood-grain finish with the paint area being black with green and white ‘SBC’ logos to denote Marshall’s new home in the Sun Belt Conference, which will stand out in person and on television.

“I just love this court,” Spears said. “I’m excited that our team was able to secure one of the NCAA regional courts from last year’s tournament. The design is outstanding and will absolutely pop on the ESPN+ Sun Belt games. Our teams are playing for us and they deserve to play on a first rate surface in front of our awesome community and fans. The goal is to produce NCAA Tournament teams within our programs. Now, we have an NCAA Tournament floor on which they can make their run.”

This floor also now has one solid 3-point line after the NCAA shifted the women’s basketball 3-point line to the international line of 22 feet, 1.75 inches for the 2021-22 season – the same distance as the men’s 3-point line.

‘Be Like Bruce’

With the new court now in place, Marshall men’s basketball will also feature a ‘Be Like Bruce’ contest, referencing the record-setting shot of former Marshall basketball player Bruce Morris.

The shot, which took place on Feb. 7, 1985, is the longest known make in college basketball history at 89 feet, 10 inches. The feat – which became known as “The Shot Herd Round The World” – came just before halftime against Appalachian State, who reclaims its spot as a rival with the Thundering Herd in the Sun Belt.

The contest, sponsored by Moses Auto Group, gives one lucky fan per game the chance to ‘Be Like Bruce’ by attempting a shot from the same distance Morris did with the chance to win a brand new car.