For Ivey Unland’s ninth birthday, she knew the Curb Event Center was the place to be.
As fans cheered and players celebrated their victories on the court, not only did Unland watch the Bruins sweep the Bisons at the Dec. 2 Battle of the Boulevard, but the birthday girl got a standing ovation from the crowd for her special day.
Belmont’s basketball birthday experience organizes an unforgettable day for the team’s youngest fans, and perhaps inspires some future Bruin recruits along the way.
“I went to a camp here and I loved it!” Unland said. Her role model and favorite player, women’s No. 22 Tessa Miller, coached her at the camp last summer.
The highlight of Unland’s birthday? Seeing Miller play.
For the kids of fans, alumni, past players and newcomers alike, the Belmont Birthday Experience connects kids of all ages and ignites the inner child in any Belmont fan.
With a mascot meet-and-greet included in the experience, Bruiser is Nashville’s Mickey Mouse, and Belmont, a less financially draining Disneyland.
“You’re going to get an awesome experience for a fraction of the cost,” said Belmont’s director of sales and sponsorships, Tommy Henry. “The attraction with us is that we are a community team, but we’re not going to break the bank in terms of giving your kids a memorable experience.”
For $20 a head, the birthday experience also includes a game ticket, a Chick-fil-A voucher, a custom cookie cake, a birthday announcement during the game and opportunities to participate in contests.
Belmont’s kid zone at the east end of the arena caters to the kiddos, often offering face painting, balloon animals and a prime view of the action behind the basket.
But a birthday celebration at a Bruins basketball game makes for the icing on the cake.
“Our birthday package was one of my goals this year … not just having your birthday at a Belmont basketball game, but an all-encompassing fan experience where they’ll never forget it,” said Henry.
Some say Unland’s “Go Bruins!” still echoes in the Curb Event Center.
PHOTO: Ivey Unland gets a big birthday moment on the Curb Event Center video board. Belmont Vision / Jaymey Hedberg
This article was written by Jaymey Hedberg and Gus Sneh.