The Auburn University basketball team will take over Toomer's Corner next Thursday for Tipoff at Toomer's, which will feature day-long events that culminate with the Tigers taking to the basketball court for slam dunk, three-point and 3-on-3 contests.
The roads surrounding Toomer's Corner will be closed to traffic starting at 10 p.m. on Wednesday so a basketball court can be set up at the iconic intersection of Magnolia Avenue and College Street. Magnolia will be blocked off at Gay Street to the east and Wright Street to the West. South College Street will be closed at Thach, while the city will create a turnaround area about halfway up North College between Glenn and Magnolia avenues that will keep some parking spaces available. All roads will re-open to traffic by 6 a.m. on Friday, at the latest.
The festivities will start with a 3-on-3 tournament for Auburn University students that will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday. A live broadcast of Tiger Talk radio will take place from 6 to 7 p.m., followed by the championship game of the 3-on-3 student tournament. At 8 p.m., the Auburn basketball team will showcase their talents with dunk, three-point and 3-on-3 contests, which will be featured live on the SEC Network.
"Tipoff at Toomer’s is a celebration of Auburn basketball; it’s a celebration of the history of our university and athletic program and some of the most iconic celebrations in the history of college sports,” head coach Bruce Pearl said. “To have the SEC Network here and a national television audience for one hour on Oct. 11 tells you how far our program has come.
"We’re excited to show off the best college basketball fans in the country in what will be a great night for the program and university in this uniquely Auburn event."
An autograph session will follow the main event, which is free and open to the public. Residents can also enjoy interactive fan areas on Samford lawn.
The entertainment district event is another example of the close relationship and cooperation between the city of Auburn and Auburn University, said city manager Jim Buston.
"I think it is kind of a unique event," he said. "I think it’s also coming on the heels of a very good showing of Auburn basketball last season. I think fans are excited about the coming season of Auburn basketball, and I think this is a good way to start off, letting fans have the opportunity to come and see the players, to talk to coach Pearl. Overall, it’s one of those unique things that can only happen really at Auburn. Toomer’s Corner is a unique place.
"The downtown merchants, their willingness to allow these things to go on is also very indicative of the Auburn community working together to provide this type of opportunity for fans and for the community."