Big Ten tourney attendance rises by nearly 20 percent

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

This year’s Big Ten men’s basketball tournament rebounded from disappointing attendance in 2009, assisted by stronger ticket-selling efforts and new promotions.

Attendance for the tournament that concluded Sunday totaled 81,625, a nearly 20-percent increase from last year’s mark and the highest since Indianapolis began hosting the event on an annual basis in 2008.

“The tournament was very popular this year,” Indiana Sports Corp. spokesman John Dedman said. “We are very excited about that.”

Conseco Fieldhouse will host the tournament through 2012. But it remains uncertain whether the suburban Chicago-based Big Ten will keep the men’s and women’s tournaments in Indianapolis after that.

The Big Ten is planning to put the tournaments up for bid and have additional cities compete against Indianapolis for the right to host the games.

The Indiana Sports Corp., which led the charge to attract both tournaments to Indianapolis annually starting in 2008, is unsure when the bid process will begin.

What is certain, however, is that ticket sales will play a critical role in whether the tournaments stay in Indianapolis beyond 2012.

Dedman said a stronger effort to sell tickets involved additional promotions to season ticketholders at each university, and a new program that offered discounted tickets to students that could be purchased at each campus. Previously, students had to buy tickets at the normal rate through outlets available to the general public.

The Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association estimates the men’s tournament generates about $8 million in direct visitor spending. Combined with the women’s Big Ten Tournament games, which take place the week before the men's tourney, the figure grows to $10 million.

Indianapolis began hosting both tournaments annually in 2008, but the city’s relationship with the Big Ten begins well before that.  

With the exception of one year, the women’s tournament has been in Indianapolis since 1994 and in Conseco Fieldhouse since 1999. The men’s tournament, which began in 1998, was played in Chicago’s United Center through 2001, then alternated between Chicago and Indianapolis from 2002 to 2007.

In 2002, the first year the men’s tournament was in Indianapolis, attendance totaled 94,402. It’s never been that high since. Attendance declined to 77,012 in 2004, before rebounding to 90,763 in 2006.

This year, the Indiana Hoosiers were beaten in the first round by the Northwestern Wildcats. The Purdue Boilermakers defeated the Wildcats before being bounced by the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

The Golden Gophers unexpectedly advanced to the championship, where they were drubbed by the Ohio State Buckeyes, 91-60.

In the NCAA tournament, which begins this week, the Boilermakers, a No. 4 seed, play the No. 13-seeded Siena Saints at 2:30 p.m. Friday.

The Butler Bulldogs and Notre Dame Fighting Irish are the other Indiana teams to advance to the NCAA tournament.

The Bulldogs, a No. 5 seed, play the No. 12-seeded University of Texas-El Paso Miners at 5 p.m. Thursday. The No. 6 Fighting Irish and No. 11 Old Dominion Monarchs face off at 12:25 p.m. Thursday.

College basketball, however, will return to Indianapolis soon enough. The city hosts the NCAA Final Four on April 3-5.


Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. By Mr. Lee's own admission, he basically ran pro-bono ads on the billboard. Paying advertisers didn't want ads on a controversial, ugly billboard that turned off customers. At least one of Mr. Lee's free advertisers dropped out early because they found that Mr. Lee's advertising was having negative impact. So Mr. Lee is disingenous to say the city now owes him for lost revenue. Mr. Lee quickly realized his monstrosity had a dim future and is trying to get the city to bail him out. And that's why the billboard came down so quickly.

  2. Merchants Square is back. The small strip center to the south of 116th is 100% leased, McAlister’s is doing well in the outlot building. The former O’Charleys is leased but is going through permitting with the State and the town of Carmel. Mac Grill is closing all of their Indy locations (not just Merchants) and this will allow for a new restaurant concept to backfill both of their locations. As for the north side of 116th a new dinner movie theater and brewery is under construction to fill most of the vacancy left by Hobby Lobby and Old Navy.

  3. Yes it does have an ethics commission which enforce the law which prohibits 12 specific items. google it

  4. Thanks for reading and replying. If you want to see the differentiation for research, speaking and consulting, check out the spreadsheet I linked to at the bottom of the post; it is broken out exactly that way. I can only include so much detail in a blog post before it becomes something other than a blog post.

  5. 1. There is no allegation of corruption, Marty, to imply otherwise if false. 2. Is the "State Rule" a law? I suspect not. 3. Is Mr. Woodruff obligated via an employment agreement (contractual obligation) to not work with the engineering firm? 4. In many states a right to earn a living will trump non-competes and other contractual obligations, does Mr. Woodruff's personal right to earn a living trump any contractual obligations that might or might not be out there. 5. Lawyers in state government routinely go work for law firms they were formally working with in their regulatory actions. You can see a steady stream to firms like B&D from state government. It would be interesting for IBJ to do a review of current lawyers and find out how their past decisions affected the law firms clients. Since there is a buffer between regulated company and the regulator working for a law firm technically is not in violation of ethics but you have to wonder if decisions were made in favor of certain firms and quid pro quo jobs resulted. Start with the DOI in this review. Very interesting.