Northern Iowa’s journey to the sweet 16 in the NCAA Mens Basketball Tournament has brought a boost to some businesses in the state. Cory Moore manages The Stadium, a sports apparel and accessories shop in downtown Des Moines. “We’ve had a ton of customers coming in looking for U.N.I. apparel…well above what we normally would” Moore said. (see video below)
Scott Eichmeier of Altoona was in the store on Thursday with his wife. The 2004 Northern Iowa graduate is making the trip to St. Louis, where the Panthers will play Michigan State tonight. “We’re just looking for some U.N.I. gear,” Eichmeier said. “I’m going down to the game so I’m looking to support the team and wear some purple and black or purple and white.”
Moore says he knew there would be a rush on U.N.I. products when the Panthers beat top-seeded Kansas last Saturday night. “I came in and made an order on Sunday. We ordered lots of new (U.N.I.) t-shirts and hats and they came in on Tuesday. So, we were prepared and had plenty of stuff on hand,” Moore said. “We had a similar situation a couple years ago when Drake made it to the NCAA Tournament. So, we kind of knew what to expect.”
Moore says a lot of Hawkeye and Cyclone fans are putting away their black and gold or cardinal and gold gear – at least for now – and switching to Panther purple. “We’ve had a lot of people who are going to the game in St. Louis and they want a purple hat or t-shirt so they can stand out on T.V.,” Moore said. Tonight’s game between UNI and Michigan State is scheduled to tip-off at 8:30.