Tickets sales for regional lagging

  • Scott M. Johnson / Herald Writer
  • Friday, March 26, 2004 9:00pm
  • Sports

SEATTLE – While the first two rounds of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament were played in front of sellout crowds at KeyArena last week, the women’s Sweet 16 is getting a much chillier reception.

Only about 4,500 tickets to tonight’s session were sold as of Friday afternoon, meaning a good portion of the 9,500-seat Bank of America Arena will consist of empty seats.

“Originally we had hoped to sell out, but we’re hoping to get a good walk-up crowd,” said Marie Tuite, the University of Washington’s senior associate athletic director and a member of the tournament committee. “(Seattle) hosted the men’s tournament last weekend, and that could have a little bit of an impact. We’re hoping for a good turnout.”

The most obvious reason for the slow ticket sales is that the four teams involved in the West Region aren’t really from the west region. Purdue, from West Lafayette, Ind., had the shortest trip (about 2,200 miles) of the four teams currently in Seattle. Texas and Louisiana State covered greater distances, while Georgia came from the other end of the country (about 2,700 miles). Fans of all four schools would have had to make rather extreme travel plans to get here.

“If I had my druthers, we’d play closer to home,” Georgia head coach Andy Landers said. “But it isn’t frustrating to be here. We’ve played in almost as many West Regionals as any region. Each year there’s going to be teams that have to travel; that’s just a part of it.”

Georgia and Purdue play at 8:30 tonight, which is even later in their hometowns -11:30 p.m.

“It’s going to be late when we’re playing,” Purdue coach Kristy Curry said, “so I’m a little worried about that.”

Despite the lack of local teams, those who are familiar with Seattle’s tradition of supporting women’s basketball are surprised at the slow sales.

“The support that women’s basketball has gotten (in Seattle) has been incredible, so it’s surprising that the turnout hasn’t been great,” said UW junior basketball player Kristen O’Neill, who attended Friday’s practices along with local hoops aficionados such as Seattle Storm center Lauren Jackson and Meadowdale High School coach Karen Blair. “We have some really great, loyal Husky fans that are proud of the Purple and Gold.

“It would be great to see as many people as possible supporting women’s basketball because they’ll get to see some great basketball.”

Talk to us

More in Sports

Arlington’s defense stuffs Ferndale running back Talan Bungard on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023, at Arlington High School in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Arlington steamrolls Ferndale in 3A Wesco North showdown

The Eagles light up offense in the first half, finish business to earn a 46-14 win.

Lake Stevens High School head football coach Tom Tri hoists his team’s championship trophy during a community parade and celebration Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022, in Lake Stevens, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
The Herald’s 2022-23 Man of the Year in Sports: Tom Tri

The Lake Stevens coach guided the Vikings to Snohomish County’s first large classification football state title in more than 30 years.

West Linn’s Ryan Vandenbrink (23) runs with the ball during a football game between Lake Stevens and West Linn at Lake Stevens High School in Lake Stevens, Washington on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023. West Linn won, 49-30. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Turnovers cost Lake Stevens in loss to Oregon power West Linn

The Vikings’ run of 35 straight home wins in the regular season ends in an interstate showdown of big-school state champions.

Marysville Pilchuck’s Christian Van Natta lifts the ball in the air to celebrate a turnover during the game against Marysville Getchell on Friday, Sept. 16, 2022 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Prep football roundup for Friday, Sept. 22

Prep football roundup for Friday, Sept. 22: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report… Continue reading

Lynnwood teammates mob senior Abbie Orr (4) after her impressive dig led to a point against Jackson during a volleyball match Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, at Lynnwood High School in Bothell, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Lynnwood volleyball team continues rise to prominence

After ending a 20-year state drought last season, the Royals are surging again and have vaulted to No. 3 in Class 3A in the new WSVCA poll.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith (7) scrambles up field during the second half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Seahawks set to host Panthers, honor past while focused on present

Seattle will honor the 10-year anniversary of its only Super Bowl championship during Sunday’s game.

Jackson High’s Ben Lee lunges to get to the ball against Kamiak on Thursday, Sep. 22, 2022, at the Kamiak Tennis Courts in Mukilteo, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Prep boys tennis season preview: Players and teams to watch

A look at the area’s top athletes and teams on the tennis court this fall.

Fall prep sports roundup.
Prep roundup for Saturday, Sept. 23

Also, Friday’s non-football prep results.

Austin Roest prepares to take a wrist shot during the first day of Silvertips training camp on Thursday, August 31, 2023, at Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Dad is an NHL bigwig, but Silvertips’ Roest carving his own path

The 19-year-old forward and son of Stanley Cup-winning executive Stacy Roest leads the Silvertips into the 2023-24 season.

Most Read