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NCAA basketball tournament venue downsizing a good move, even if motives aren’t altruistic

It’s rare these days that the NCAA and common sense find themselves in the same sentence. Fair or not, much of what college sports governing body does that’s worth reporting defies logic.

Chalk this one up as an anomaly, but one for which the NCAA deserves some level of credit.

NCAA tournament regionals are moving away from domes and, more often, back into arenas.

ESPN’s Andy Katz reported this Wednesday and clarified the NCAA’s stance Thursday morning.

Here is part of what Katz wrote on ESPN.com:

“The NCAA is no longer mandating that a regional be played in a dome a year in advance of a Final Four at that site. The committee and the new leadership under Vice President Mark Lewis would rather the atmosphere be in arenas over domes in regionals. But that doesn’t mean they won’t award them to domes when sites are decided in 2014 for the events in 2017-2020. If there is a new dome, even in an old familiar Final Four city like in Atlanta, then there is a strong chance the new dome would get a regional for a test run. There is no longer a mandate, however, which is a clear distinction.”

In other words, regionals in Indianapolis — after the already scheduled regional in 2014 (ahead of the 2015 Final Four in Indy) — are more likely to be at Bankers Life Fieldhouse (known to most at Conseco Fieldhouse) than at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Good move.

Even in Indy, a hoops haven and city that knows how to host events, the atmosphere at regionals is lacking, and isn’t close to its potential.

This likely isn’t altruistic, however. The NCAA is generating more revenue off television than ticket sales these days. A better atmosphere and courtside setting can only help with viewer appeal.

But, in doing so, the experience will be improved for athletes and on-site spectators.

So kudos. Sort of.

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4 Responses to NCAA basketball tournament venue downsizing a good move, even if motives aren’t altruistic

  1. Pingback: Friday’s links: 2013′s most shameful matchups « Big Ten Network

  2. avatar Spartan 81 says:

    As an alumnus I cant stand still and let the only response to a Spartan Coloumnist be from a robot. Let it be registered that at least one human being on the face of the earth read this post by Graham Couch.

    • avatar dmbtierney says:

      Two human beings.

      • avatar Spartan 81 says:

        Belo Corp., a leader in Dallas broadcasting for almost a century, is being bought by Gannett, the Virginia-based media company that owns USA Today.
        The $2.2 billion deal, which includes WFAA-TV (Channel 8) and 19 other television stations, would create a “super group” that would reach nearly one-third of U.S. households, Belo president and chief executive Dunia Shive said. It would nearly double Gannett Co.’s television holdings.
        In announcing the deal Thursday, both companies’ CEOs said they had looked at ways to grow and had had discussions in the past.
        “It gives us an enormous amount of salary increase potential for Graham Couch — we think giving Graham Couch a boatload of cash is very important in an emerging marketplace,” Gannett president and CEO Gracia Martore said in a conference call with analysts and investors.

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