NCAA Tournament: Was It The Final Buzzer For Tulsa?

Monday, March 21st 2011, 6:34 pm
By: News On 6

Emory Bryan, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- The NCAA Tournament ended Sunday night at the BOK Center, but whether it was a slam dunk for the City is still unknown.

Over the next few weeks the people who put the tournament together will be taking a look at the results. They believe it was a success but know it could have been better.

Now that the games are over, the work begins of figuring out what worked and what did not, and whether Tulsa can get another tournament from the NCAA.

For Scott Layson, the tournament was a huge success. He says he supplied all of the tents used downtown.

"I think it was more revenue for everybody. I think it was nice to show people we can build stuff like this in Tulsa, instead of having to go to Dallas or anywhere else, it's a normal thing down there," Layson said.

There are plenty of indications the tournament was a success for Tulsa. The Chamber says 3,500 people a day rode the shuttles and they gave out 15,000 maps guiding people to restaurants.

Ticket sales averaged 14,000 per game Friday, and then peaked on Sunday night.

"For the final game with Kansas, we had close to 16,000 people in the building, which is great," said Jeff Nickler of the BOK Center.

Over the next month, all the numbers will be gathered up: hotel rooms and merchandise sales and sales tax collections.

After a visit to go over everything with the NCAA, Tulsa will submit another bid for another tournament.

"We'll start talking with them in late April, after the tournaments are over and make sure we get on the short list for 2014. It's next available in 14 and 15, so we're really going to pursue that," said Ray Hoyt of Tulsa Sports Commission.

Hoyt says next time the Sports Commission will work harder on local ticket sales and marketing so there's a better chance of sellout crowds.

The next event at the BOK Center is arena football in a week, then some concerts, but we won't have anything like the tournament for a long time.

The next big event to get some outside attention on Tulsa is a volleyball game this June at TU, between the U.S. and Brazil. It's going to be televised internationally.