Jun. 9—Kansas' Late Night in the Phog season-opening basketball extravaganza will return to being a live event, held before actual fans, this school year at Allen Fieldhouse.
KU's athletic department, which held the annual event last season as a virtual program on Oct. 23, 2020 — with no spectators allowed, in response to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions — announced Wednesday that the 37th annual Late Night will take place on Friday, Oct. 1 in KU's tradition-rich building.
KU coach Bill Self said in Wednesday's athletic department news release it would be a Late Night with fans. As far as how many, athletic director Travis Goff recently told The Star that KU is hopeful for full capacity at events in football and basketball during the 2021-22 school year, but nothing was decided yet. He said the athletic department works in conjunction with its own Kansas Team Health as well as county health officials on such matters.
Details such as time of the event and instructions for fans will be announced at a later date. The release said, "due to the worldwide pandemic, the 36th Late Night in the Phog was virtual but Allen Fieldhouse will return to hosting the 2021 event in person."
"One thing about last year's pandemic was it took away from fans being able to attend events but it also took away some fun opportunities for us too," Self said. "We probably tip off the season as well as anybody in America with Late Night in the Phog and we are glad it will be back. It will be the first chance for our fans to see the large number of newcomers that we feel is a terrific recruiting class."
Late Night, which started in 1985 under coach Larry Brown, features men's and women's basketball intrasquad scrimmages, skits by players and coaches from the men's and women's teams, video highlights from the Rock Chalk Video department, music by the KU pep band and routines by the spirit squad and dance team.
"We could not be more excited for the return of Late Night in the Phog," KU women's basketball coach Brandon Schneider said. "This annual kick off for the basketball season is something our players greatly look forward to participating in. We can't wait to see Allen Fieldhouse back to full capacity."
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