I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce to Falcon fans everywhere a new feature called "Hans On." It's my chance to share my insights with you inside Falcon Athletics. I'm excited about sharing with you some of the latest news coming from the athletic department and some of our great cadet-athletes.
First off, I want to thank you all for your continued support of Falcon Athletics and for your attendance at our athletic events. We couldn't do it without you!
I'm very excited with my first entry to tell fans about our football season ticket plan for 2009. In response to the current economic times, Air Force athletics is proud to announce that there will be NO increases in your season tickets in 2009. In addition to no increase, we're offering for the first time ever a payment plan for season ticket renewals. Fans may renew their season tickets in three installments instead of all at once. We hope that this makes renewing your season tickets as easy as possible.
We're also excited to announce some great incentives for season ticket renewals. The first 100 to renew their season tickets will receive one of the team's football media guides, rated as one of the best in the country. In addition, those who renew their season tickets early will be eligible for special rewards like a gift shop shopping spree and season tickets for another Air Force sporting season.
Although our full schedule has not been released, most fans know that we are playing at Minnesota of the Big 10 on September 12th. This is one of the most anticipated games in Minnesota history, as the Gophers open a brand new state-of-the-art stadium. We were their first choice to open the new stadium because it will have a very patriotic theme. What a thrill it will be to be the first game played in this new fabulous stadium! Renewing season ticket holders will have an opportunity to purchase these tickets before they go on sale this summer.
Our Blue-Silver Club continues to be a great opportunity for new fans to join and enhance their experience as a fan. We'll continue to offer a 15 percent discount on season tickets to all Blue-Silver members, including newly joining members.
We think Falcon Football is one of the most unique experiences in the country. Our fans tell us that they encourage friends and acquaintances to purchase tickets to see some of the finest pageantry in all of college football. Well, we've heard you and we want to reward your efforts. Fans who bring in four or more new season ticket holders will be invited to a private cookout in the press box with Coach Troy Calhoun and the football coaching staff.
I'm as excited as ever as we enter the 2009 season. As most of you are aware, we signed Troy Calhoun to a new five-year contract that will keep him roaming our sidelines through 2013. We also secured his great coaching staff to new contracts. We have an exciting young team returning and the future of Air Force football has never been brighter. We need your help and want you to renew your commitment to Falcon Athletics or if you're new to the area or have not been a Falcon Fan before now, it's a great time to join the excitement.
In closing, I'd like to take the opportunity to congratulate several coaches and athletes for their accomplishments. The ice hockey team won its first regular season conference championship with an exciting split with RIT over the weekend. The Falcons will be the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Atlantic Hockey Association tournament. The team opens up post-season play at the Academy March 13-15 by hosting a quarterfinal series, beginning at 7 p.m. each night. Tickets are still available.
Senior soccer play Roni Yadlin has been awarded one of 29 NCAA postgraduate scholarships for division I fall sports. We're excited about the example that Roni sets for the rest of our athletes with this prestigious honor.
Our men's indoor track team finished third while the women were seventh in the Mountain West Conference championships last weekend. Seniors Kellen Curry and Sean Houseworth earned individual conference titles. Curry won the 200-meter dash while Houseworth took first in the 5,000- and 3,000-meters.
Our men's swimming team took second behind five-time conference champion UNLV in the Mountain West Conference Swimming and Diving Championships held in Oklahoma City. That's the highest finish for the men's team in five years. Great job.
That's probably enough for this first installment on "Hans On", so stay tuned as we head for the Men's and Women's Basketball Tournament in Las Vegas. I'd love to shock the world - it couldn't happen to a greater bunch of young men and women and two very dedicated coaching staffs.