There will be no selfies from Section 118 of Georgetown's Jan. 20 basketball game against St. John's. That's because the Hoyas are outlawing cellphones in that part of the arena as part of their "Actual Reality" promotion for the Big East game.
With a touch of irony, Georgetown's marketing department announced the idea Wednesday on Twitter while laying out some of the ground rules for fans who sign up. No phones will be allowed; nametags will be distributed to encourage face-to-face conversations; and fans in the section will receive a printed sheet of halftime stats.
"The future is all virtual reality, and soon you won't even have to go to games -- you can just sit in your living room and watch," said Chris Grosse, the athletic department's head of marketing. "My job is to get people to come to games, so we wanted to kind of pick fun at the way things are trending and showcase that we still have a really fun product and it's worth it to actually come out to the arena and experience a game without having your face in your phone."
Georgetown (12-4, 2-3 Big East) started the season with eight straight wins under first-year coach Patrick Ewing, the basketball program's most famous alum. The Hoyas have lost three of their past five games since they started conference play.
Grosse said there are roughly 50 seats reserved for the "Actual Reality" section, and they'll add more if the interest level warrants a bigger area. Spectators in that section will have to pick up a paper ticket at the arena rather than use their smartphones to get through the gates. They also plan on setting up a letter-writing station in the area. For fans who absolutely need some photo evidence of their day at the game, there will be a Polaroid camera on hand for an analog dose of instant gratification.