SBD/Issue 126/Collegiate Sports

Some Women's Basketball Tourney Sites Could Lose Money Again

There is a "good chance" that for the second straight year, six of the 16 sites that will host first- and second-round games for the NCAA women's basketball tournament "will not have home teams playing, which could spell a major economic loss for those institutions," according to Doug Feinberg of the AP. In the opening rounds last year, "five of the six sites that did not have host teams playing did not pull in the money they had guaranteed to the NCAA and had to make up the difference." But it was "not just the sites without a host that fell short of their guarantees and had to make up the difference to the NCAA," as 11 total sites "did not reach their goals last year." Some were "more than $40,000 short while others were just a little bit off." The NCAA "worked with this year's hosts to try and help them reach their numbers." NCAA VP/D-I Women's Basketball Sue Donohoe: "It's important for us that our hosts aren't overexposed financially and we aren't overly exposed financially while ensuring that our host and student athletes are given the experience that it needs to be." Feinburg noted some schools that lost money last season "tried to recoup those losses from the NCAA, but were turned down." The NCAA this year "added a teleconference with the universities to talk about the bid specifications so that the institutions would not be under budget and be left with a shortfall" (AP, 3/13).

NO LOVE IN SAC TOWN: The women's West Regional will be held at Arco Arena on March 27 and 29 and in Sacramento, John Schumacher reports local officials are "hoping to come close to filling half of Arco's 17,317 seats" for the two sessions. Pacific Univ. Supervisor of Facilities & Events Jeff Bolognini, whose school is hosting the regional, said, "Even though it's a regional, it's a challenge to get people to buy into it and support it." He added, "If we get Stanford, it would be a huge help. It's a local team. It's the No. 2 team in the country. I think everybody would be lying if they weren't hoping Stanford makes it here. If we get 7,000 or 8,000, I think we'd be thrilled." Sacramento Sports Commission Exec Dir John McCasey noted the men's tournament games "sell out overnight; it's just boom," while the women's tournament is "more of a challenge" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 3/15).

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