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Volume 25 No. 85
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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

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" (, 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).