The First Four Local Organizing Committee helped sell out the NCAA’s first four games in record time in October. Now it’s turning its attention to helping Wright State get a good crowd at the Nutter Center for Monday’s 7 p.m. game against Richmond in the second round of the College Basketball Invitational.
Wright State Athletic Director Bob Grant reached out to First Four Chairman J.P. Nauseef on Thursday for helping in selling tickets, and Nauseef sent out emails to the community, asking local corporate sponsors and others if they were interested in buying blocks of tickets.
In just 12 hours, the organizing committee had sold 1,200 tickets. That’s on top of what Wright State has already sold. A crowd of 2,507 attended Wednesday’s first-round game against Tulsa.
“The biggest thing for us is we want to make sure the community knows this isn’t just about UD,” said First Four volunteer Matt Farrell. “This isn’t just about the NCAA tournament. It’s about the passion for college basketball in this region. Monday is a great opportunity to showcase that.”
UD President Dan Curran pledged to buy 100 tickets at a cost of $1,300. Tickets cost $13 or $10 for season-ticket holders.
The Dayton Business Journal, the Dayton Development Coalition, the Real Art Design Group and Mark Fornes Reality, among others, pledged to buy blocks of anywhere from 20-60 tickets.
“Some of them they will give to the (Wright-Patterson Air Force Base) to use,” Grant said. “Some will go to underprivileged kids. It shows the generosity and collaborative spirit in Dayton.”
Wright State was only supposed to host a first-round game, but Richmond’s arena was unavailable. Grant said Wright State would work in good faith with the CBI about the cost of the second-round game, but Wright State’s only commitment was to pay $35,000 for the first-round game.
“There’s nothing set in stone,” Grant said.