Fresno State basketball game sells out the Save Mart Center

FRESNO, Calif.

Fresno State will take on Cal State North Ridge at 7 p.m. It will be their home opener, following a two game start on the road.

Fresno State Junior Leticia Rodriguez says she's never seen the Save Mart Center sold out for a basketball game.

"I've gone to a couple of games throughout the years, it kind of gets pretty empty so I'm hoping it's full," she said.

Paul Ladwig, senior associate athletics director with Fresno State, says there was an average of 7,400 people in attendance during each of last year's games. They are expecting to double those numbers Saturday night.

It was all set in motion late October, when Fresno State Alumni and current Indiana Pacer Paul George bought all the open seats in the lower sections of the arena.

"We first put the idea together that some Fresno based business would buy out the lower bowl tickets and create the atmosphere and in that process. We happened to be talking to Paul about it and he said, 'well why I don't do it?'" Ladwig said. "He goes I'll send you the check, 'I want to help Fresno state, I want to help out the save mart center so let's start the season off in the most incredible thing you can do.'"

Ladwig said those tickets lasted five days. The demand was so great; Fresno State decided to give away the open seats in the upper deck as well.

"The question was, well do we want to open up the upper deck?" Ladwig said. "Why not, let's see how far we can go with this promotion, it far exceeds what any of us thought this night would be."

All students' tickets were claimed on campus by Friday afternoon, but Ladwig said that there would be 300 walk-up tickets on game day available only to students. It will be a first come, first serve starting at 5:30p.m.

"I think it's going to be a mad house," Fresno State Junior Cameron Grant said.

Fresno State Basketball coach Rodney Terry says his team is looking forward to playing in a packed house.

"It's the first time. We're excited about it, Terry said. "We think we have some of the best fans in the country."

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