Tulsa Union's UMAC is the star of the Mid-Con basketball tournament

Monday, March 7th 2005, 10:52 am
By: News On 6

The Mid-Con basketball championship winds down Tuesday, but Tulsa might already be the winner.

News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan says the tournament has a lot of fans from Tulsa and out of town enjoying Tulsa Union School’s Multi-purpose Center. For the Mid-Con basketball tournament, Tulsa's welcome wagon is in the parking lot - directing the out of towners into a spot.

Parking lady: “Illinois and Texas are the two I see the most of, but there are a lot of rental cars out here too.” All this traffic is good for Tulsa's bottom line, most of the time.

Sometimes, local hospitality is too good. Mike Davey, Western Illinois fan: “We're staying with friends across the line in Kansas, so we've not contributed one cent to the economy, we even got free tickets.” He says he is eager to see his team - but surprised to see the arena. “This is an impressive place, we were quizzing the girls taking tickets and we said is this Tulsa University and they said no, this is Union High School.”

The tournament brings in the 8 best men's and women's teams in the conference. Add up all those players, the media to cover them and all the fans, pretty soon you've got a big crowd. The Mid-Con is the biggest event so far at the John Q Hammons Arena at 6900 S Mingo Road.

The big sticker on the basketball court puts the UMAC in the spotlight and makes money for Union Public Schools. Sarah McBryde, UMAC Marketing: "and this kind of event is good for Tulsa, so obviously we don't want to lose money but we do what we can do to help pull it off for the City of Tulsa."

Not everybody spends a lot at the tournament but everybody spends a little and that helps Tulsa. Mike Davey: “but we are enjoying Tulsa, it's a nice town and this is an impressive facility.”