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Discussion Starter #21
I agree that the Palestra is the best option in Philadelphia, and I am sure this is going to make all the Santa Boo'ers crazy, but I dont think its the best place for a tournament. Its a fine place to watch a game. Am I wrong, or is it mostly bleachers? Are there any ammenities for someone spending the day there? Is it just plain old? I have been there for a game but it has been a while.
 

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There have been some rumblings in Rhode Island that the soon to be renovated Dunkin Donuts Center (DDC) may make a bid for the tourney after the two year run in AC. Providence College has successfully run a PR campaign to get the state to spend 100 million to purchase it from the city and renovate the building (convenient for PC since their team plays there). One argument that has been used to justify this project is that a newly renovated building will attract big events. Since I expect that this endeavour (DDC purchase & renovation) will be a big money loser and the DDC will be very hardpressed to get events such as the NCAA's, I wouldn't be surprised to see them make a bid. There was some discussion on the local sports radio station about trying to get the A-10 tourney just this past Wednesday.

If the DDC does make a pitch for the A-10 tourney, I hope URI is in no way financially connected. The A-10 tourney has only really succeeded in Dayton. Part of the reason it did well in Dayton was that both fairly local teams UD and X were good at the time. The rabid loyal fanbase of UD and college basketball in that area was also another reason. I don't mind URI assisting the DDC in some logistical matters and mailing its season ticket holders A-10 Tourney data but I want URI to have absolutely no financial liability. I would want a relationship similar to what Xavier had in Cincinatti.
My reasons for this are that I am not confident that the tourney would succeed in providence from an attendnace perspective. If URI and UMass were good (very big ifs) at the time, it would certainly make things easier but this is not guaranteed. I also don't think the local college basketball fan would embrace the tourney as they more closely follow the Providence based Big East after having being indoctrinated by the local media for the last 25 years.

The DDC might not be bad for the tourney in some respects. It is not nearly as big as the US Bank Arena and Spectrum as the capacity is just over 13,000. The arena in well located in the downtown district close to the hotels, shopping, dining, bars, and entertainment establishments. The Amtrak station is blocks from the arena and it will soon be connected to the airport which is less than 10 miles from downtown. Providence also has route 95 which cuts through the city downtown and goes right by the back of the DDC.
 

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ORed, the points you mention is why I think the tourney should have been at Cintas. Yes folks would complain of the "Home Court Advantage" again, but it would have been far more sucessful, both from a financial and TV appearance standpoint.
 

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xu1990 said:
I agree that the Palestra is the best option in Philadelphia, and I am sure this is going to make all the Santa Boo'ers crazy, but I dont think its the best place for a tournament. Its a fine place to watch a game. Am I wrong, or is it mostly bleachers? Are there any ammenities for someone spending the day there? Is it just plain old? I have been there for a game but it has been a while.
I think it's just bleachers, but it's been a while since I was in there as well. It's part of Penn's campus and it's a short walk to restaurants, bars, etc. The building itself doesn't have any great amenities other than a great place to see a basketball game.
 

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Wish I knew what the answer was. We have a league full of teams that have trouble getting 3-4000 to their home games. A lot of small schools with small fan and alumni bases. Then toss in the wide geographic spread of the conference and you have a formula for lousy conference attendance.

Put it out west, we have to pray that Dayton AND Xavier are having good tourney runs. Put it in the east, apparently there's no good place in the east that will draw.

We'll never be a Big East or ACC or Big Ten. Syracuse alone may have more fans and alumni than our entire conference put together, just to use them as one example.

I'm guessing here but I'll bet the MVC schools on average are bigger attendance wise than A10 schools. A lot of the smaller state schools still have 10-15000 students.
 

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All I know is that when they were counting down the top 10 moments in A-10 history and they showed the tournament at the Spectrum and it was alot more crowded than Cincy even with Xavier playing. Compared to last night it looked like 100,000 people in the Spectrum.

Philly has gotten a bad rap. Other than Dayton no one has supported it better. Dayton is out because it gives the Flyers too much of an advantage and it is a small city. Have it at the Palestra and it all goes away. The problem is the Palestra is not well equppied to handle the tournament outside of the basketball games.

AC is a nice choice. I hope it works well there.
 

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Philly is better than Cincy. While attendance isnt great, there's better overall attendance. Problem is the size of the pro arenas. I dont know if the Palestra is doable, but there must be a good reason why the league doesnt want to go there. I imagine no one wants to play at the Owls' home, either.

Personally, I am looking forward to Atlantic City. It's pretty close and centrally located to most of the schools on the East Coast and represents more of a "destination" that most of our school locations. I plan to do some research to figure out what my wife and kids can do while I watch the games. My hope is that AC visitors looking for something to do while taking a break from gambling will venture into to some of the games.

If AC doesnt work, I would go back to Philly, though I am certainly open to Dayton again given the solid overall attendance. If we ever end up at Cincy again, it should be at Cintas, and by golly, bring down those ticket prices as much as possible.
 

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A couple of things. Getting briefly back to the original point of this thread, the Big East lost its 1, 3 and 4 seeds yesterday in the quarters, all of whom had byes. Only Villanova survived.

With regards to AC, I think it is definitely more of a destination than any other place the tournament has been. I am pretty certain I could attract a few non-A-10 friends to drive down with me, watch games and gamble. I wouldn't want to stay in AC though, it's still a sketchy city. However, I wonder if the city will try to do some kind of small PR work to advertise the tournament. I think that casual fans could be drawn to it since there is more to do than just watch your team play. Does the A-10 or the host city ever do anything like this? I knew plenty of students when I was in school who would road trip up to AC from Richmond just for the hell of it, I think you could draw even more from each school with a little effort. College students have been known to gamble a little bit.

Finally, I went to the quarters, semis and finals at the Spectrum in UR's first year in the league. We bought tickets in the deserted upper section and moved down to about the 4th row for the UR/Bona quarterfinal game, a little further back for the UR/Lasalle semi, and a little further back for the UR/X final. By no means was it packed but I am positive there were more people there than last night by at least 10x for the quarters.
 

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Let's face it. Cincinnati is not a destination from Philly, DC, NY or anywhere on the East Coast. I think Atlantic City could even comp tickets.
 

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I havent been to AC before. Just the general area. can you stay in a hotel in AC, just like in Vegas, and pretty much never have to go outside? That's what I was thinking. Stay in a hotel and do stuff within the confines of entertainment facilities.
 

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I am looking forward to AC next year. (obviously b/c it is only 1 hour from my house) It is a good change of pace and definatelly worth a try to see if it draws. One guarantee is that it will outdraw Cincinnati. I already have co-workers and friends who are planning on going down to watch the games with me. I think there are going to be a number (probably not a high #) of other local/casual fans who are going to make it down there as well. Comps for casino-goers.

In my opinion, AC has been waiting to host some sort of event like this. There is enough $$$ going around down there to put together a solid marketing campaign. Plus it is more centrally located than Ohio so hopefully schools like Fordham, GW, UMass, and all the Philly schools have a good fan showing.

As for the city itself, it isn't as sketchy as it used to be. Like any other city, you must use caution, but if you are looking to stay there, there are some very good options. The Borgata and Tropicana are two obvious choices with plenty of amenities to keep people busy. The city is also in the middle of major expansion, it is more of an adult playground but there are places to keep the kids happy as well.
 

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Mik said:
Philly has gotten a bad rap. Other than Dayton no one has supported it better. Dayton is out because it gives the Flyers too much of an advantage and it is a small city. Have it at the Palestra and it all goes away. The problem is the Palestra is not well equppied to handle the tournament outside of the basketball games.
You can outsource the running of the tourney. Palestra has always intrigued me as a basketball fan.

Now on to more pressing biz. I don't mind you knocking UD out of the rotation because of the homecourt advantage but the small city swipe nothing but a cheap shot. Having traveled extensively myself, fine dining, fine hotels and nightlife. As far as basketball fans go the area surrounding the Arena is more than adequate and getting better by the year. I can't imagine what another venue other than AC could offer for hoops fanatics. Plenty of quality taverns and good restaurants are all within minutes of the Arena...hotels while not 4 star are more than adequate especially for college hoops fans. Travel from most A10 areas is easy...in all the traveling I've done I can always get reasonably priced direct flight from either DAY, CMH or CVG to all major markets...all 3 airports are convenient to UD. And finally if you don't believe me...ask the NCAA fans that have flocked here for over 30 years...and next week will be no exception except maybe better than ever because the 1st round is on St. PAtrick's Day and Flanagan's is at it's best on St. Patrick's Day. Now that I mention Flanagan's it reminds me the last time the A10 tounery was in Dayton some young SJU students were at the next table to is...of course drowning their sorrows but having one heck of a time in doing so.
 

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WH said:
I havent been to AC before. Just the general area. can you stay in a hotel in AC, just like in Vegas, and pretty much never have to go outside? That's what I was thinking. Stay in a hotel and do stuff within the confines of entertainment facilities.
WH, I would suggest to stay in either the Borgata or the Tropicana. The Tropicana just added a section named the Quarter which has shopping and restaurants. The Trop is also right on the boardwalk and you can walk to a dozen or so other casinos and Boardwalk Hall is only a couple of buildings away. AC casino/hotels aren't as much as a one-stop shop as Vegas casinoes. You will have to bounce around the boardwalk to keep yourself entertained. If I run into you, I will buy you a drink.

I think the whole board owes you drinks for the amount of work you put into this messageboard. :cheers:
 

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Living just outside of DC, I'd be excited to see the tourney played at the Verizon Center. But I think AC is a decent experiment. I realize its a year away, but I'm planning to drive up next year.
 

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VZ Center is way too big. DC might be a good city to hold the games in owing to easy access and all, but this is not the heart of A-10 country.
 

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WH, my advice is not to start thinking of AC in any kind of relation to Vegas, at least until more places like the Borgata open and they revamp the boardwalk and surrounding areas. I went to AC for the first time in 1995 and a couple times a year after that. I went to Vegas in 2000 for the first time and didn't return to AC again after that until this past November. If you start thinking like Vegas, you're bound for a major letdown, at least in the short term.

That being said, I know people who will go, even UR grads in the NY area who don't follow the team. If only to watch the one game and then gamble. So for me, AC is a good idea.

What I'd like to see from the A-10 is a long term plan/commitment to a place or a city. All this hopping around from city to city is bush league, like the MAAC having it alternate between Buffalo and Albany. Home courts is even more bush league, and that is not a dig at Dayton, just a fact that the casual basketball and sports fan perceives it that way. The A-10 could really make a statement by connecting with a city like AC, helping its revitalization and promoting itself and its tournament as an event and place that people would want to be a part of. Think of it like connecting with Vegas in the early/mid 80s when it was still a seedy mess. But by the mid to late 90s it would have looked like a genius long term plan. Work out corporate events and host them at the nicer hotel/casinos. Create events for the fans to attend. What casino wouldn't want a few thousand hoops fans strolling through their casino floor on the way to an event? It's their target audience. There are so many things to that can be done to draw fans attention and make them part of an experience, rather than just watching their team play a game far from home. Right now, scalpers are in front of MSG selling tonight's tickets for the BE semis for about $150 a pop. And that is because people want to come to NYC to see their team and to see the city and have a fun weekend away in a fun city. It's not that hard a concept, I would love to see the A-10 leadership take some notes.
 

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St. Louis to host in 2009?

Saint Louis is projected to have a new 10,000 seat arena completed in 2009 so that maybe an option to host the tournament. Before all of you East Coast Guys groan, it isn't much farther than Cincy and probably more flights there than to Dayton. SLU has a season ticket fan base of 6,000+, the city also has many UD and XU alumni. The MVC tournament would be over (it is at the Savvis center), it is usually well attended, and most sporting events in STL are well attended. In recent years the city has hosted the Final 4, Women's Final 4, NCAA Wrestling Championships, NCAA Tourney Opening Rounds, World Series, NFL Playoffs and so on. There are some sites: Budweiser Brewery Tour, AB Grant's Farm (U.S. Grant once owned now owned by AB free animal park and beer), the Arch, Casino Boat gambling, beautiful SLU campus (1st School West of the Mississippi).

I was watching some Big XII Conf Games and I didn't even realize it was in Dallas and I live in Dallas. The place was dead during the MU v. Nebraska game and hasn't been well attended throughout. So other conferences are having some problems too.
 

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Re: St. Louis to host in 2009?

TheA_Bomb said:
Saint Louis is projected to have a new 10,000 seat arena completed in 2009 so that maybe an option to host the tournament. Before all of you East Coast Guys groan, it isn't much farther than Cincy and probably more flights there than to Dayton. SLU has a season ticket fan base of 6,000+, the city also has many UD and XU alumni. The MVC tournament would be over (it is at the Savvis center), it is usually well attended, and most sporting events in STL are well attended. In recent years the city has hosted the Final 4, Women's Final 4, NCAA Wrestling Championships, NCAA Tourney Opening Rounds, World Series, NFL Playoffs and so on. There are some sites: Budweiser Brewery Tour, AB Grant's Farm (U.S. Grant once owned now owned by AB free animal park and beer), the Arch, Casino Boat gambling, beautiful SLU campus (1st School West of the Mississippi).

I was watching some Big XII Conf Games and I didn't even realize it was in Dallas and I live in Dallas. The place was dead during the MU v. Nebraska game and hasn't been well attended throughout. So other conferences are having some problems too.
I live in Greensboro where several tourney's are played.
Ticket's could be had for FREE after both sessions on Thursday. Clemson, Fl. State and VA. Tech people were giving them away as they left. Locals wait for losers to leave and bag their seats. If UNC can beat BC today, the scalpers who paid nothing for these tickets are going to be sitting on a gold mine.

Tintin
 
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