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SBD/March 12, 2013/Colleges
Pac-12 Tournament Looks For Attendance Boost With First Year In Las Vegas
Published March 12, 2013
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MOVING THE NEEDLE: In Seattle, Jayda Evans noted Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott “wants to keep” the women's basketball conference tournament in Seattle. Force 10 Sports Marketing, a business arm of the WNBA Storm's ownership group, has “a three-year agreement with the conference to host the event.” Scott said, "With an event like this, its best outcome is if it works in a particular market you can nurture it and build it." Evans noted early attendance numbers and “response from coaches and teams have shown keeping the tournament in Seattle should be no problem.” The tourney last year in L.A. "totaled 7,720 fans overall splitting play at USC's Galen Center and Staples Center, working around the men's tournament games” (SEATTLE TIMES, 3/10).
THINKING BIG: In Illinois, John Radtke noted the Big Ten women's basketball conference tournament this year moved to Sears Centre Arena, and the event saw "favorable reviews” from the conference and the arena. While attendance “clearly was lower than the last several years" at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, it "didn't totally disappoint officials from either the conference or the venue.” The average attendance for the six sessions at the Sears Centre Arena this year was 4,471, with "a high of 5,505 for Saturday's semifinals and a low of 3,200 for the Thursday night session,” while the championship game saw a crowd of 4,739 (DAILYHERALD.com, 3/11).
PICK ME, PICK ME! In Tampa, Greg Auman reported the Univ. of South Florida is “interested in lobbying for Tampa to host the postseason tournament in its new league.” USF Exec Associate AD Bill McGillis on Saturday said, "We want it here in Tampa. We definitely will explore that to the fullest” (TAMPABAY.com, 3/9). Meanwhile, Univ. of Memphis AD Tom Bowen on Friday said that the school “will pursue hosting the 2014 men’s and women’s basketball tournaments for the yet-to-be-named conference that it’s joining on July 1” (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 3/9).