Fans Of Local Schools Pack NCAA Tournament Sites In St. Louis, Milwaukee, Orlando
Around 650 tickets for the night session of Friday's NCAA tournament action at Scottrade Center, which includes Wichita State-Cal Poly and Kentucky-Kansas State, "were still listed on Stubhub.com" as of Thursday evening, "starting at around $61 for the nosebleed sections and going up to $1,050," according to Denise Neil of the WICHITA EAGLE. Remaining tickets on the NCAA ticket exchange website "started at $59.40 and went up to $202.50." WSU is joined at the St. Louis site by "two other even closer Kansas teams" in the Univ. of Kansas and Kansas State, as well as Kentucky. Fans of the three Kansas teams "like to travel," and "evidence that Scottrade would be hogged by basketball fans from Kansas this weekend was apparent during Thursday’s practice sessions." KU practiced first, at 2:15pm CT, and the stands "were filled with hundreds cheering and wearing crimson and blue," along with "several curious K-State and Wichita State fans." By the time Wichita State took started practicing at 4:25pm, KSU purple was "beginning to appear in larger splotches, too" in advance of KSU's 6:40pm timeslot (WICHITA EAGLE, 3/21). Meanwhile, in Milwaukee, Rich Kirchen noted the BMO Harris Bradley Center "hosted the men’s tournament for the first time" since '10, and the "packed house Thursday was a welcome sight." The crowd for Wisconsin-American "predominantly was pro-Badger as a sea of red filled the lower and upper decks" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 3/20).
ATTENTION TO DETAIL: Stetson Univ. AD Jeff Altier said that the school "could earn as much as $200,000 for its months of behind-the-scenes work to put on the three-day" slate of second- and third-round games at the Amway Center. He added, "But it's the TV exposure that we get that's really big." In Daytona Beach, Sean Kernan reports Stetson for serving as a tournament host "gets two 4-by-5-foot Hatters logos on the baseline of the court, two banners hanging from the rafters, one regular courtside banner and its name on a rotating, digital half-court sign that is in prime position." Univ. of South Florida Sport & Entertainment Business Management MBA Founding Dir Bill Sutton said, "Every time the teams run past the digital banner and people watching on TV see Stetson University, some of them are going to ask, 'Where's Stetson?' I'd love to see the number of Google searches on Stetson on Thursday and Saturday." Stetson, which is "hosting its fifth NCAA tournament, has been working with its partners -- the Central Florida Sports Commission and Amway Center -- to bring the NCAA tourney back to Orlando for the first time" since '04 (Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL, 3/21). In Orlando, Mike Bianchi reports the Amway Center on Thursday was "mostly filled to the rafters" with Univ. of Florida fans, who made up most of the 16,074 in attendance. Central Florida Sports Commission President & CEO John Bisignano said, "The Gators have made the NCAA Tournament in Orlando a resounding success" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 3/21).