Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Oklahoma City leads in attendance for women’s regionals

After leading the four regionals with attendance of 10,032 in the third-round games, another 9,342 turned out for Tuesday night’s Oklahoma City Regional final between Texas A&M and Tennessee.

Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt thanked fans after the game for coming out.

“I think that Oklahoma City has once again proved itself as a city that can host tremendous championships. It doesn’t matter if it’s men’s or women’s, but for our first time ever to host a women’s regional, we’re very pleased with the experience that people are having and with the attendance,” Oklahoma City All-Sports Association executive director Tim Brassfield said.

Oklahoma City will host a regional at the Ford Center again next year, and first- and second-round games will be played on the University of Oklahoma campus in Norman in 2010. After the completion of about $100 million in renovations to the Ford Center aimed at attracting the NBA’s Seattle SuperSonics, Brassfield hopes the arena could host a women’s Final Four.

The next available Final Four would be in 2012. St. Louis is next year’s host, and it goes to San Antonio in 2010 and Indianapolis in 2011.

“I think it does build our case, we think, for future and bigger events. We would love to host those things down the road like the women’s Final Four,” Brassfield said.

Brassfield said 85 percent of the tickets sold were used for the regional semifinals, even though fourth-seeded Oklahoma got upset in the second round and didn’t make it to Oklahoma City.

“I think we’re very loyal and we make sure people come to see the events,” Brassfield said. “They’re sports fans. They’re not necessarily team fans only.”

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