Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Swofford says ACC looking at ways to improve interest in ACC Tournament

Declining attendance at the ACC Tournament has league officials concerned, with some changes in store for this season's event in Greensboro and more possibly on the way.

The 2010 tournament in Greensboro drew 93,849 fans, according to a report in the Greensboro News & Record. The 2006 tournament in the same city drew 108,094.

The decline has perplexed and concerned the ACC, whose basketball tournament has always been its showcase event. It was once nearly impossible to get a ticket, but tickets are now plentiful outside the games.

ACC commissioner John Swofford said the league has decided to vary the number of tickets it gives each school, with the total ranging from about 1,000 to 1,900 depending on how close the school is to Greensboro. Swofford also said he believes the conference must look at pricing - right now, books of tickets for the event are the same price, regardless of seat location.

"We need to look at that," Swofford said.

Swofford said his colleagues at other conferences are also seeing attendance at their tournaments decline. The economy, of course, is one issue. The other, Swofford said, is the NCAA Tournament has become so enormous that it dominates interest in March.

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