SBD/April 7, 2011/Events and Attractions

NCAA, Indy Organizers Happy With Women's Final Four Despite Attendance Dip

This year's Women's Final Four in Indy drew 16,947 to Conseco Fieldhouse
NCAA and Indianapolis organizers are “ecstatic about how the Women's Final Four played out at Conseco Fieldhouse,” but “one negative loomed from Sunday and Tuesday -- the crowd average of 16,947 was the lowest since 1997,” according to Phillip Wilson of the INDIANAPOLS STAR. Tuesday’s Texas A&M-Notre Dame championship game drew a crowd of 17,473, which “was better” then Sunday’s attendance of 16,421, but "well short of 18,549 capacity" for the event. NCAA VP/D-I Women's Basketball Sue Donohoe acknowledged that she “was surprised the games didn't sell out, as anticipated, and alluded to how school ticket demands weren't as high as expected.” The NCAA is “hopeful a new ticket plan that will make all seats available online on a first-come, first-served basis can help.” The Women's Final Four used to be played on Friday and Sunday instead of Sunday and Tuesday, and Donohoe said that a "review of game dates and times will be discussed, among other things," with broadcast partner ESPN. Donohoe yesterday said that the “positives outweighed the attendance issue.” Donohoe said the event was a "game-changer for women's basketball." In addition to a “free concert and Tourney Town, about 1,300 attended a charity run at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday and about 2,000 kids took part in Circle City Dribble Downtown on Sunday.” The Women’s Final Four will return to Indianapolis in ’16. The event will be played in Denver next year, a “prospect that concerns” Texas A&M women’s coach Gary Blair. He said, "That scares me right there. We've never been there. It's not a huge basketball state. And all of a sudden we're going to Denver just because it's a name right now. I'm not sure that's going to work" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 4/7).
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