Nevada, biz leaders try to boost WAC attendance |

Nevada, biz leaders try to boost WAC attendance

RENO – Plagued by a dip in attendance in recent years, local business leaders are teaming up with Nevada athletic officials to offer discount tickets to the Western Athletic Conference basketball tournament March 11-13.

The total attendance of 46,600 fans during the four-day tournament at the Lawlor Events Center in Reno last season was down 20 percent from the previous season in Las Cruces, N.M. It was down 31 percent from the last time Reno hosted the event in 2006.

As a result, despite booking more than 1,720 room nights thanks to the event last spring, the tournament operated at a deficit of about $199,000 last year, according to the Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitor’s Authority.

“So, we have gotten together as a team of people and made the decision to offer our community new ways to get involved in the tournament,” Wolf Pack athletic director Cary Groth said in announcing the “Champions of the WAC Tournament” program.

Local companies and organizations in northern Nevada that participate in the program can purchase blocks of single-session tickets for their employees for Nevada’s opening-session games at a discount of $10 per ticket (minimum purchase of 15 tickets).

With the discount, tickets will cost as low as $15 for the men’s basketball games and $10 for the women’s games. Each single session consists of two games.

In addition, the Wolf Pack and RSCVA announced that starting Feb. 27, employees of city, county, state and government agencies in northern Nevada can purchase single-session WAC Tournament tickets at various discounted prices.

Most of the ticket prices have been frozen from last season, with some actually decreasing in price.

“We’re trying to come up with ways so people can still afford to come to events,” Groth said. “I’d rather have a full arena with less of a cost to the consumer than half of an arena that’s too expensive for people to come to.”

This is the final year Reno will host the WAC Tournament before it moves to Las Vegas for a two-year stint.

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