Pink Fighting Illini shirts flying off shelves

By Ryan Davis

The pink Fighting Illini shirts required to get into Illini Madness tonight are flying off the shelves.

“The response has been overwhelming,” said Cory Shumard, manager of GameDay Sports, 519 E. Green St. “It’s almost creating a Final Four atmosphere.”

Shumard predicts that all of the pink shirts at GameDay Sports will be gone by 4 p.m. He said that this sellout includes both the Green Street location and the store’s other location on West Springfield.

“We have about 400 left (as of 3 p.m.) between the two stores,” he said.

The pink shirts are selling for $7 each, with proceeds going to Coaches vs. Cancer, a joint effort between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches, according to FightingIllini.com. The shirts are this year’s required admission to get into Illini Madness.

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As of 3 p.m., all sizes were still available at the Green Street location, said Shumard.

“We’ve been printing around the clock to keep up with demand,” he said.

The restaurant and bar, Legends, is also selling the shirt. They still have an undisclosed amount in stock.

Shumard said that they did not want to order 16,000 to 17,000 shirts right away and were waiting to gauge their orders on demand.

“We did not print in advance,” he said. “We just reacted to the need.”