Minium: ODU Hosts First Sun Belt Contests This Week, Including Football Game on Saturday

NORFOLK, Va. – More than two months after joining the Sun Belt Conference, Old Dominion hosts its first home conference games this week.

And while Saturday’s football game with Arkansas State will draw the most attention, it’s one of five Sun Belt games or home games.

Each contest will have a focus on the Hampton Roads family or community.

The ODU volleyball team kicks off on Thursday and Friday nights when the Monarchs host Marshall, who, like the Monarchs, moved from Conference USA to the Sun Belt this summer.

Both games start at 6:30. Friday’s game is a designated Gold Game and Youth Day. All juniors who show up with a shirt will enter for free.

You can also get free admission to buy a toy for children who are patients of the Children’s Hospital of the Daughters of the King. For a list of approved toys, click here.

The Saturday football game, which starts at 6 pm, is the annual family weekend game, which families of students are invited to attend.

Discount tickets are available and there is a special pre-game tailgate for families and students. For more information, click here.

Sun Belt games continue on Sunday with a men’s and women’s soccer doubleheader.

The men take on James Madison at 12:30 and the women host Georgia Southern at 3:30.

The men’s game is a “Pack the Park” contest and entry is free. You will need a ticket to enter the ODU soccer complex starting at 2:30.

The women’s soccer game is also designated a Gold Game, which means you can get a free ticket by buying a gift for a CHKD patient.

A limited number of free t-shirts celebrating Sun Belt’s first home games will be available during Thursday’s volleyball game and soccer and football games.

ODU rejoined the Sun Belt after 10 years in Conference USA. ODU enjoyed much success as a member of the Sun Belt from 1982-83 to 1990-91.

The league is geographically more compact than Conference USA and includes more natural rivals including JMU, Marshall, Appalachian State and Coastal Carolina.

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The Sun Belt Conference’s Eastern Division of football is preeminent in the Group of 5, with four wins over Power 5 teams just three weeks into the season, including ODU’s 20-17 victory over Virginia Tech in the first Monarchs home game.

It’s also one of the best baseball leagues in the country, with five current members who participated in last season’s NCAA Tournament. ODU was among the last schools left out of the field of 64.

With 2020 national champion Marshall and SEC members Kentucky, South Carolina, and West Virginia of the Big 12 as affiliate members, Sun Belt men’s soccer is among the best in the nation. Central Florida joins next season as an affiliate member.

Sun Belt also provides ODU basketball fans with a more convenient and attractive place to watch the Monarchs compete in the conference tournament. Both tournaments are held in Pensacola, Florida.

A school-by-school look at the Sun Belt:

EASTERN DIVISION

Appalachian State University
Location: Boone, NC
Enrollment: 20,641
Nickname: Mountaineers
Distance from Norfolk: 350 miles, 5:39 drive time.
Website: https://appstatesports.com
Football Stadium: Kidd Brewer Stadium (30,000)
Basketball Stadium: Holmes Arena (8325)

Carolina Coast University

Location: Conway, South Carolina
Enrollment: 10,118
Nickname: Chanticleers
Distance from Norfolk: 326 miles or 5:16 driving time
Website: https://goccusports.com
Football Stadium: Brooks Stadium (20,000)
Basketball Stadium: HTC Center (3212)

Georgia Southern University

Location: Statesboro, Georgia
Enrollment: 20,949
Nickname: Eagles
Distance from Norfolk: 500 miles, or 7:52 driving time
Website: https://gseagles.com
Football Stadium: Allen E. Paulson (25,000)
Basketball Stadium: Hanner Fieldhouse (4325)

James Madison University

Location: Harrisonburg, Virginia
Enrollment: 21,496
Nickname: Dukes
Distance from Norfolk: 224 miles or 3:34 drive time
Website: https://jmusports.com
Football Stadium: Bridgeforth Stadium/Zane Showker Field (24,877)
Basketball Stadium: Atlantic Union Bank Center (8500)

Georgia State University

Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Enrollment: 54,000 (six campuses in Atlanta)
Nickname: Panthers
Distance from Norfolk: 600 miles or 8:53 drive time
Website: https://georgiastatesports.com
Football Stadium: Center Parc Stadium (22,000)
Basketball Stadium: Georgia State Convocation Center (7300)

marshall university

Location: Huntington, West Virginia
Enrollment: 13,321
Nickname: Thunder Herd
Distance from Norfolk: 460 miles or 7:20 driving time
Website: https://herdzone.com
Soccer Stadium: Joan C. Edwards Stadium (38,227)
Basketball Stadium: Cam Henderson Center (9,052)

Old Dominion University

Location: Norfolk, Virginia
Enrollment: 24,828
Nickname: Monarchs
Website: https://odusports.com
Soccer Stadium: Kornblau Field at SB Ballard Stadium (21,944)
Basketball Stadium: Chartway Arena (8500)

WEST DIVISION

State of Arkansas

Location: Jonesboro, Arkansas
Enrollment: 14,085
Nickname: Red Wolves
Distance from Norfolk: 990 miles, 15 hours of driving.
Website: https://astateredwolves.com
Soccer stadium: Banco Centenario Stadium (30, 964)
Basketball Court: First Arena of the National Bank (10,475)

Louisiana

Location: Lafayette, Louisiana
Enrollment: 14,425
Nickname: Rajin Cajuns
Distance from Norfolk: 1,175 miles, 17:26 driving time.
Website: https://ragincajuns.com
Football Stadium: Cajun Field (36,900)
Basketball Court: Cajundome Arena and Convocation Center (10,475)

Louisiana-Monroe

Location: Monroe, Louisiana
Enrollment: 14,425
Nickname: Warhawks
Distance from Norfolk: 1,095 miles, 16:09 drive time.
Website: https://ulmwarhawks.com
Football Stadium: Malone Stadium (30,427)
Basketball Stadium: Fant-Ewing Coliseum (7085)

south alabama

Location: Mobile, Alabama
Enrollment: 38,808
Nickname: Jaguars
Distance from Norfolk: 920 miles, 13:40 driving time.
Website: https://usajaguars.com
Soccer Stadium: Hancock Whitney Stadium (25,450)
Basketball Stadium: Mitchell Center (10,041)

southern mississippi

Location: Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Enrollment: 14,606
Nickname: Golden Eagles
Distance from Norfolk: 975 miles, 14:25 driving time.
Website: https://southernmiss.com/splash.aspx?id=splash_4
Soccer Stadium: Carlisle-Faulkner Field at MM Robert Stadium (36,000)
Basketball Stadium: Reed Green Coliseum (8,095)

Texas state

Location: San Marcos, Texas
Enrollment: 38,808
Nickname: Bobcats
Distance from Norfolk: 1,600 miles, 11:10 p.m. driving time.
Website: https://txstatebobcats.com/search_splash.aspx
Soccer Stadium: Bobcat Stadium (30,000)
Basketball Arena: Strahan Arena at the University Events Center (10,000)

university of troy

Location: Troy, Alabama
Enrollment: 17,106
Nickname: Trojans
Distance from Norfolk: 770 miles, 11:50 driving time
Website: https://troytrojans.com
Football Stadium: Veterans Memorial Stadium (30,402)
Basketball Stadium: Troy Arena (6000)

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