Friday, March 6, 2009

Numbers Game Looks Good for MAAC

While the numbers on the scoreboard are important for the teams competing here, numbers elsewhere are important to the success of this tournament.

Good attendance numbers here not only provide something to the conference's financial bottom line, but also help bolster Albany's case of retaining the event for future years.

The Times Union Center is already set to host the conference tournament again a year from now. In 2011, it will be played at the Arena at Harbor Yards in Bridgeport, Conn.

And, then, from 2012 through 2014 the MAAC would like to pick a single venue to host its post-season tournament for a three-year run.

The Albany arena would love to be the chosen site.

Representatives of arenas in Bridgeport, Conn., the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., and the Baltimore Arena are all here to watch operations this weekend and begin discussion the paremeters involved in bidding for the available three-year block from 2012-through-2014.

League officials also believe the Mohegan Sun, a Connecticut casino venue that has a suitable arena venue, will also bid for the event but representatives fro that facility could not be here this weekend.

Through early Friday afternoon more than 37,000 tickets had already been sold for games here.

Already ticket sales will surpass all but one of the last eight MAAC tournaments.

And, this year's number will assuredly increase dramatically if the hometown Siena men's team advances into Monday's championship game.

Based on early figures and the usually large day-of-game sales for Siena appearances, it's not a stretch to think this year's tournament could surpass the 50,087 that attended the event here in 2000, which remains the largest turnout in its history.

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