Astute Maryland basketball fans had long known that the Terps might not be the biggest headliners at Sunday's game against Oregon State.
Sure enough, Maryland will be overshadowed at the game by President Barack Obama and the First Family.
According to the White House, the Obamas plans to attend the Terps-Oregon State game at Comcast Center, which tips off at 6 p.m. Oregon State is coached by Craig Robinson, First Lady Michelle Obama's brother.
Because of extra security measures, Maryland is asking fans to arrive early (see more details below).
Obama’s arrival was not difficult to predict. Oregon State has made a habit of traveling to the region for games. And the president and First Lady have made a habit of attending, including a game at Towson two years ago.
“I think it would be great,” Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said Friday before Obama's plans became public. “It would be pretty cool for everybody, for their team and for our team. Hopefully it’ll make the teams play even harder than they were going to play.”
Oregon State has grown accustomed to meeting the president. The team even got to have Thanksgiving dinner at the White House.
But it’s still a big deal.
“[Obama and the First Lady] know you by your first name,” Beavers senior guard Roberto Nelson said. “It’s amazing.”
Here are the fan advisories Maryland has sent out:
While the majority of the gameday experience will remain unchanged on Sunday, please note that because of the President’s attendance, the University of Maryland is encouraging fans to arrive as early as possible with doors opening at 4 p.m., two hours prior to tip off and parking lots will open at 2 p.m.
Fans should expect additional security measures on Sunday. All persons and vehicles are subject to search upon entering both the parking lots and Comcast Center.
Gates B and D located closest to parking Lot 4B will be open for entrance into the arena until 5 p.m. and will not be available for fans to exit during or at the conclusion of Sunday’s game.
In addition, please be advised of the following parking changes:
For fans who have Lot 4B parking permit:
- Vehicles parked in Lot 4B will not be allowed to exit until the conclusion of the game and after the President’s motorcade has left campus.
- Parking Lot 4B will be closed beginning at 5 p.m.
- Lot 4B permit holders who expect to arrive later than 5 p.m. or would like to leave the game early are encouraged to park in either Terrapin Trail garage or Lot 9B.
- All Lot 4B parking permits will be honored in any lot for Sunday’s game.
Below is a list of items prohibited in Comcast Center for Sunday’s game:
- Sharp Objects