IBJNews

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.
      
 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
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
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I'm a CPA who works with a wide range of companies (through my firm K.B.Parrish & Co.); however, we work with quite a few car dealerships, so I'm fairly interested in Fatwin (mentioned in the article). Does anyone have much information on that, or a link to such information? Thanks.

  2. Historically high long-term unemployment, unprecedented labor market slack and the loss of human capital should not be accepted as "the economy at work [and] what is supposed to happen" and is certainly not raising wages in Indiana. See Chicago Fed Reserve: goo.gl/IJ4JhQ Also, here's our research on Work Sharing and our support testimony at yesterday's hearing: goo.gl/NhC9W4

  3. I am always curious why teachers don't believe in accountability. It's the only profession in the world that things they are better than everyone else. It's really a shame.

  4. It's not often in Indiana that people from both major political parties and from both labor and business groups come together to endorse a proposal. I really think this is going to help create a more flexible labor force, which is what businesses claim to need, while also reducing outright layoffs, and mitigating the impact of salary/wage reductions, both of which have been highlighted as important issues affecting Hoosier workers. Like many other public policies, I'm sure that this one will, over time, be tweaked and changed as needed to meet Indiana's needs. But when you have such broad agreement, why not give this a try?

  5. I could not agree more with Ben's statement. Every time I look at my unemployment insurance rate, "irritated" hardly describes my sentiment. We are talking about a surplus of funds, and possibly refunding that, why, so we can say we did it and get a notch in our political belt? This is real money, to real companies, large and small. The impact is felt across the board; in the spending of the company, the hiring (or lack thereof due to higher insurance costs), as well as in the personal spending of the owners of a smaller company.

ADVERTISEMENT