Renovation to Hoops Mania Celebration


Hoops Mania 2017

By: Alison Nieto Culture Editor

Students looking to attend this year’s Hoops Mania celebration should prepare for new surprises and “neat enhancements” in place of the traditional musical guest. In an effort to celebrate the basketball program and newly renovated Finneran Pavilion, the University has decided not to extend an invitation to a musical guest this year.

The Athletics Department and the administration have decided there will not be a musical celebrity at this year’s Hoops Mania. “We won’t have a celebrity music performer, but there may certainly be other guests that come but there won’t be any post-celebration,” says Assistant Athletic Director for Marketing Janine Shao. While this decision has upset many students, the athletics department believes that the focus of this year’s event should be on our Championship-winning Men’s Basketball team and the opening of the new Finneran Pavilion.

Hoops Mania has become a Villanova tradition, with 2006 marking the first celebration where an outside performer was brought in. Since 2006, the event has grown to include musical guests, with notable performances from Drake, Nicki Minaj and Wiz Khalifa in the past decade. It is also the biggest day for prospective future Wildcats, as it not only shows off our world-class basketball program but how the student body rallies around that team.

The Athletics Department and the administration both came to the decision not to invite a celebrity performer to the event this year in order to bring the focus back to the team and the newly-renovated Finneran Pavilion.

“There’s a few different things [that lead to this decision]. We really wanted this year to be about celebrating the opening of the Finneran Pavilion, so we have a lot of things planned that will be about celebrating that opening and celebrating our National Championship,” says Shao. “We really want it to be focused on the team and the building and all those enhancements there.” Shao also stresses that they believed it was really important that the students are the first group allowed into the Finneran Pavilion, and inviting in an outside celebrity would inherently mean that they and their crew must enter first to set up the performance space. In addition to the belief that students should enter first, Shao also stressed the time limit as a hindrance in hiring an outside performer.

“We will be in the building on October 1st, so with that quick of a turn-around, we felt that it would be best to just focus on the team and celebration,” says Shao.

There were still be a ticket lottery system to determine the students who are able to attend Hoops Mania. With 6,500 eligible seats, most of the student body will still be able to attend. Should the administration have hired an outside performer, the event would have lost 2,000 seats, only allowing about half of the student body to attend.

The University does not foresee any issues with attendance at this year’s celebration due to lack of performer and expects to have a better pulse on student interest on September 25th, once the lottery is released.

 “I’m hoping that students will see this year as an exciting year to be able to get in the space,” says Shao. “Maybe in the past they would have been excited about the music act coming in, and this year, maybe they’re excited about coming in and really supporting the team. I hope that students are going to be excited to welcome the team and have this new experience that no one else has been able to have previously. It will certainly be a different kind of draw, but I’m hoping that students will be just as excited.” Likewise, some students do not feel that the lack of a musical performer has any effect on their attendance at the celebration.

“I still would like to go support the team because I love Villanova and this community,” says junior Reagan Wish. “If I don’t end up going, I’m not going to worry too much about it.”

“I’m still going to go because I go with the band and that’s fun on its own, but it’s definitely disappointing that they might not have anyone, especially after another championship,” writes senior Ryan Bowman in an email. “I wanted Macklemore.” Other students, however, feel that the University’s decision to not hire a musical performer does affect their decision to attend this year’s celebration.

“I feel as though the University’s decision not to hire a performer to play at this year’s Hoops Mania was, frankly, in poor taste,” writes senior Lauren Munter in an email. “Although this event revolves around basketball, the biggest draw for students is the performer. I have yet to decide about my own attendance, but I think the reason that I feel so apathetic about it is that there is no performer.”

Many students were left disappointed after French Montana, the performer at Hoops Mania 2017 arrived extremely late to the event last year. With the excitement of the newly-renovated Finneran Pavilion, many students were expecting a larger celebration with a more punctual performer.

“Because of the reopening of the pavilion and the big win, a lot of us have been eagerly waiting to see what they’re going to do this year to celebrate and make it the best Hoops to date,” writes junior Becca Ilic in an email. “Hearing that there won’t be a performer takes away all of the anticipation and honestly makes it feel like they care less and less about doing something special for the students and the team, especially because there are so many ways they could make bringing a performer in work. After last year’s disappointment and this news, I’m not motivated to go through the effort of attending this year.”

While some students may be disappointed at the lack of musical performer this year, they need not worry that this decision will remain permanent for future Hoops Manias.

“This certainly isn’t a decision forever, I think we’re always open to reconsidering and every year is different,” says Shao. “This is just the best decision for this year, but certainly not forever.”

Shao wants students to know that there will be some “really neat enhancements” and surprises to come. She hopes that students come away from the annual celebration excited for both the men and women’s basketball season and the new Finneran Pavilion.

Regardless of whether or not there is a performer, the Villanova community continuously rallies behind our basketball program as they begin their season. For more information on the upcoming ticket lotteries and point system, please visit