NORFOLK, Va. – Norfolk State University announced Thursday an exciting week’s worth of activities that will help kick off the 2017 ABNB Labor Day Classic, culminating in the Spartans’ season-opening football game against long-time rival Virginia State on Saturday, Sept. 2.
The week begins with the Battle of the States Labor Day Giving Challenge. From noon on Monday, Aug. 28 through halftime of the football game on Sept. 2, NSU and VSU will wage a friendly competition to see which school can secure the most donations from its alumni and fans, with a goal of at least $50,000. Fans will be prompted through social media platforms to visit donation web sites and make their pledges. The winning university will be announced during the fourth quarter of the Labor Day Classic.
On Thursday, Aug. 31, NSU will host the Labor Day Classic Health Fest from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on campus, featuring a blood drive, health screening and testing at the NSU Student Center. The event will provide students with various health services to promote well-being while on campus.
From 6-8 p.m. on Aug. 31, NSU will conduct the Spartan Sports Clinic at Dick Price Stadium. The event will include a meet and greet with the NSU football team, a cheerleading clinic and a women’s “Football 101” clinic. The latter will feature an interactive introduction to football for women only and will be conducted by the Spartan football coaches. The Spartan Sports Clinic is free and open to the public.
A number of events highlight the schedule for Friday, Aug. 31 as kickoff draws closer. The 9th Annual Spartan Baseball Golf Tournament begins at 10 a.m. at Bide-A-Wee Golf Club in Portsmouth. That afternoon, NSU will sponsor a pep rally and College Colors Day celebration on campus from noon to 2 p.m.
From 5-7 p.m., NSU will host the Spartan Street Festival outside Echols Hall. This event invites NSU and VSU alumni, family and friends to come together in a block party atmosphere and enjoy food trucks, vendors and live entertainment. The event precedes the popular Battle of the Bands between the two schools, which will take place from 7-9:30 p.m. that evening inside Echols Hall.
Friday’s activities conclude with a first-of-its kind event for Spartan athletics, Casino Royale, from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Sheraton Waterside Hotel in downtown Norfolk. The event will feature a night of casino games (blackjack, poker, roulette, craps and more), live band, DJ, dance floor and host bar. Guests will have the opportunity to win raffle prizes, with proceeds from Casino Royale supporting athletic scholarship initiatives.
Then on Saturday, NSU and VSU will meet on the gridiron for the 51st time in their history, but first since 2012. Tailgating will begin at 10 a.m. for the 6 p.m. kickoff. Prior to the game, NSU will also host the Picture You @ NSU recruitment reception from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and the Greek Stroll-Off between fraternities and sororities of the two universities at 4 p.m.
The weekend concludes with a praise and worship service at 10 a.m. Sunday in the NSU Student Center, and the Labor Day Gym Jam for current NSU and VSU students beginning at 10 p.m. Sunday in Echols Hall.
Tickets for Casino Royale and Battle of the Bands will be available beginning July 14 at the NSU Ticket Center and www.nsuspartanstickets.com. NSU season football tickets are on sale now through both channels.