Plans to transform Yorktown into basketball court sailing along

MT. PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - In less than three months the flight deck of the U.S.S Yorktown will transform into a basketball court. Tuesday, event organizers talked about logistics and planning that goes into such an undertaking and why they are working to make the game an annual event.

In the eight days leading up to the November 9th tip off, crews will be hard at work to make the change. Morale Entertainment, the company overseeing the event, said they're envisioning 4,000 seats to be placed on the deck along with concessions, first aid tents and scoreboards.

"We have a number of elements," said Mike Whalen, who is organizing the event. "We're expecting to work a lot of nights so we don't interfere with the operations of the Yorktown."

Once the work is complete, Whalen says depending on how successful the event turns out to be in Charleston will decide if the game will be hosted here in the future.

"We're hoping we'll have a long term deal here," said Whalen. "I can't say with 100 percent certainty but we're planning, if this goes well this year, that we'll be back."

This year, Ohio State will send both it's men's and women's basketball teams to the Carrier's deck to square off against Marquette and Notre Dame, respectively.

Whalen said the company has already participated in talks with teams interested to fill future vacancies. Wake Forest, Davidson, Florida State and Gonzaga are said to be in the mix in upcoming years.

Tuesday's press conference was moved from the flight deck because of rain. Whalen said if rain tries the same thing in November the plan is "to move the Citadel field house, but we might have a little trick up our sleeves to keep it here."

Whalen wouldn't go into any further detail about the trick.

But the treat, far and away, is for active and veteran military members. 1,000 of the 4,000 tickets will be reserved for active duty military members. The schools participating in the games, along with the Wounded Warrior Program, will receive another 1,000 ticket disbursement.

Organizers say they believe only 500 tickets will be available for the general public. The rest of the tickets will be evenly divided to veteran groups and military relief societies.

"We just trying to do the right thing and be Americans," said Whalen.

Tickets for the event are estimated to cost around $500 each but that will depend on an occupancy violation from the Town of Mt. Pleasant and the SC Fire Marshall.

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