Tickets go on sale for UAB men’s basketball games in inaugural Barstool Invitational for as low as $16, announced UAB’s Barstool Sports affiliate, @blazeonbarstool, via Instagram on Tuesday.
In July of this year, Barstool Sports announced UAB would be participating in the first ever Barstool Invitational, an early-season basketball tournament featuring three other mid-major and Power 5 squads.
President of Barstool Sports, Dave Portnoy, confirmed on his podcast earlier this summer that UAB would be joined by Mississippi State, University of Akron, and University of Toledo in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on Nov. 11.
The invitational will be held in the Wells Fargo Center — home of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers — where UAB will face Toledo in the first matchup of the event.
Up until now, Blazer fans knew when and where the tournament would be happening, but they had been unable to secure tickets to the invitational. The tickets went on sale Thursday and are available for purchase through eVenue.
Barstool Sports is a company was founded in 2003 with the goal of becoming one of the largest sports media outlets in the world without losing sight of their relatively vulgar and spontaneous selves.
The outlet’s popularity exploded when they announced most major universities in America would receive social media affiliates in the early days of Twitter and Instagram. In recent years, the company has sought a seat at the live sports-broadcasting table, which sparked their interest in creating the Barstool Invitational.
As for their interest in UAB, one of Barstool’s biggest influencers, Dan “Big Cat” Katz, fell in love with Jordan “Jelly” Walker and the Blazers during their postseason run in March, sparking a company-wide frenzy over the Blazers.
That interest would land Jelly a deal with Barstool Sports to secure use of his name, image and likeness, leading to the creation of Jelly Walker’s very own line of merchandise sold by Barstool.
When it came time to pick squads for the Barstool Invitational, Jelly and the Blazers seemed like a perfect fit.
“One of the most electric players in college basketball returns this season, and there are plenty of people in the office who are familiar with his game thanks to a legendary run in last year’s Conference USA Tournament,” said Barstool’s Jake Marsh about Jelly Walker and the Blazers being selected for the tournament.
While the support for Walker was certainly a factor in getting the Blazers to play in Philadelphia on Nov. 11, the Barstool team knew they would need to win over head coach Andy Kennedy.
Luckily for them, Coach Kennedy was already a fan — or a “Stoolie” — of what they are doing over at Barstool Sports.
“UAB Head Coach Andy Kennedy is also a big Stoolie, so I’ll be interested to see if the Blazers come up with any Barstool-specific play call names for this game,” Marsh said.
Although it is new to college basketball this season, the Barstool Invitational is likely to become a major staple of the sport in the years to come thanks to the outlet’s growing popularity.
While Barstool Sports has already contributed to growing media buzz surrounding the Blazers, the invitational should provide UAB an opportunity to garner even more national attention.
For now, Blazer fans will have to count down the days to basketball season (39 days at time of posting) as they await what is sure to be another exciting season. The Barstool Sports Invitational on Nov. 11 will be UAB’s third exhibition match of the season, following two against Mississippi College and Alabama State on Nov. 1 and Nov. 7, respectively.