NCAA Basketball Tournament Sessions Draw Capacity Crowds In Buffalo, Orlando
Central Florida Sports Commission officials said that they were "pleased with the turnout" for Amway Center's sessions of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament and "believe it makes a good case for area to host another round of NCAA Tournament games in the future -- possibly a regional as well," according to Matt Murschel of the ORLANDO SENTINEL. Saturday's two-game session of third-round games "was a sellout, with an announced attendance of 18,512." Thursday's two second-round sessions -- with crowds of 16,074 and 14,866, respectively, -- "fell just a few thousand fans short of a full house" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 3/24). Meanwhile, in Buffalo, Jay Skurski writes under the header, "Big Dance Was Worth Price Of Admission." He notes capacity crowds at First Niagara Center on Thursday and Saturday "saw some great individual performances and thrilling finishes" (BUFFALO NEWS, 3/24).
TOO BIG FOR BOISE? In Boise, Brian Murphy noted Taco Bell Arena "once was a regular in the tournament rotation, hosting eight tournaments" between '83 and '09, but "its run is over." The NCAA "cited the need for a major upgrade to Taco Bell Arena's lighting for television purposes and its overall capacity as issues." Boise State "isn't giving up on hosting in the future," and the athletic department "has plans for upgrading the arena, including a new video board and sound system." But "there may be little" BSU AD Mark Coyle, the school, the arena or the city of Boise "can do to reel in an event that seems to have outgrown campus sites." Six of the eight sites that hosted games this past weekend "seat 18,000 or more." Taco Bell Arena's listed capacity is 12,240, but "the actual number for an NCAA Tournament game is much less" (IDAHO STATESMAN, 3/23).
BADGER STATE: In Milwaukee, Meg Jones notes "more than 1,200 tickets were available on Stub Hub" last night for Thursday's West Regional semifinals at Honda Center featuring Wisconsin-Baylor and San Diego State-Arizona. Prices ranged "from $200 to $3,000." Milwaukee-based Ticket King President John Lamoreaux said of the Wisconsin-Baylor game, "We've seen very little demand for the game thus far. Given the Thursday game time as well as the distance and expense of traveling to Anaheim, I don't expect many Badger fans to make the trip" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 3/24).