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Volume 25 No. 25
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Wichita Has Successful Day In First Time Hosting NCAA Tourney

Fans filled Intrust Bank Arena for the session highlighted by Kansas' first round matchup against Penn
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Thursday was the "first time Intrust Bank Arena has ever hosted" a NCAA Tournament game, and things at the Wichita venue "went off largely without a hitch," according to Neil, Riedl, Tobias & Lefler of the WICHITA EAGLE. During halftime of Kansas-Penn in the first afternoon session, when lines for both men’s and women’s restrooms "were about 15-20 people long," fans "were getting through quickly." Lines "moved swiftly" at more than a dozen concession stands, all of which "serve something a little different." WiFi system users were reporting that the new system "worked pretty well, even with a near-capacity crowd." This was a "good thing too, because some cell phone customers -- either got no signal or only a weak one." Meanwhile, the arena was "noticeably emptier" for Seton Hall-N.C. State immediately following KU-Penn (WICHITA EAGLE, 3/16). In Wichita, Matt Riedl notes the second session of games at Intrust Bank Arena on Thursday night drew a reported 14,019 fans -- just short of the first session's "reported attendance of 14,390" that was spiked by the presence of KU (WICHITA EAGLE, 3/16). KU coach Bill Self offered an "attendance estimate that was, if anything, still somewhat conservative -- especially not factoring in those outside the arena that weren’t attending the game." In noting the arena’s roughly 15,000-person capacity, Self said, “There had to be at least 12 (thousand) that were pro-KU. That certainly didn’t hurt us today" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 3/16).

DRIVING TO THE LANE: In Detroit, Tony Paul notes Michigan State’s Friday night Tournament opener at Little Caesars Arena is "among the most sought-after tickets on secondary markets, including StubHub." The second-session tickets "were going for $190 and up for two seats or more together" on StubHub around 1:30pm ET on Thursday. That was "far and away the priciest ticket for a Friday session" (DETROIT NEWS, 3/16). In Nashville, Colton Pouncy notes the city is a "convenient location for those traveling in from the southwest Ohio area" just four hours away, and both Cincinnati and Xavier are "expecting a large turnout from their respective fanbases" for their games at Bridgestone Arena (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 3/16). In Spokane, Whitney Ogden notes many Gonzaga fans on Thursday "made the last-minute decision to make the roughly six-hour drive to Boise to watch" the team take on UNC-Greensboro in the first round. All-sessions tickets "skyrocketed not long after Gonzaga’s pod was announced" on Selection Sunday. Prices "rose to as much as $1,600 by the time Sunday evening rolled around" (Spokane SPOKESMAN-REVIEW, 3/16).