WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Despite more than 3,300 cheering Seahawk fans, the cash box was not overflowing at UNC Wilmington tonight.
It was Business Appreciation Night at Trask Coliseum, and members of the business community were invited to enjoy a game on the house.
"We're asking folks to give to the Seahawk Club for our scholarship fund," UNCW Athletic Director Jimmy Bass said. "We're asking for corporate sponsors through marketing."
UNCW reached out to the Wilmington business community Wednesday with a business appreciation night. The university invited nearly 1,200 business people and their families to see the Seahawks play free.
"This is our first time and the university is such a tremendous asset to the community and we want to take advantage," new Seahawk fan Kristen Shaheen said.
The event comes at a time when the annual scholarship bill is at nearly $2 million, but the Seahawk Club could only contribute $950,000 in 2012.
"We're doing as much as we can to give people a reason to invest in our Seahawk athletic program," Bass said.
Earlier this year, Bass told the StarNews men's basketball was the only area that did not meet ticket sales goals. A fifth losing season in six years and a postseason ban only served to make things worse.
Now the university is on a mission not only to bring in funds, but to once again restore Seahawk spirit.
"I think it's important to remember it's not just donations, while any university is going to love financial donations," Assistant to the Chancellor for Community Partnerships Jenni Harris said. "There are other things, too. We just need their support. We want to paint the town teal."
UNCW fell to Towson. The Tigers narrowly beat the Seahawks 79-74.