Fans at Division II BB Tourney Praise Evansville, Ford Center

The Division II Basketball Elite Eight Tournament is underway at the Ford Center. Fans as far away as Arizona are in Evansville for the event. Businesses on Main Street are trying to keep fans downtown.
Most people in the Evansville area are pretty familiar with the Ford Center, but the Division II Elite Eight Tournament allows a totally new crowd to take a look at one of Evansville's finest venues.

"It's nice in there I really like it. Maybe the concessions could be a little cheaper." Mike Raymonde is a Metro State Senior. He and a few other students drove 16 hours from Denver to watch their school compete for a national title. So far they're enjoying the event and look forward to checking out the nightlife in Evansville after their team plays. "We're going to stick around and maybe watch one more game after that. Then we're going to go out and party for awhile and enjoy Evansville."

Restaurants on Main Street say a big boost comes with big events at the Ford Center, and they're looking to capitalize on the Elite Eight Tournament as well. "We have a big event on Saturday. We're closing off the street at 11 a.m. Working Beverages is bringing in a big truck. They'll have all eight games on bar stools out front so you will be able to watch the national games as well as the Ford Center." Brittney at Backstage says on opening day basketball fans have been coming in for a drink or a snack between games.

The Tournament isn't only bringing in fans of competing teams, but also fans of the sport in general, like Daniel Dodd. "I spent 25 years officiated and eight years coaching before I left my school in Saudi Arabia." He was just in Las Vegas for the Pac-12 Tournament and says the bargain at this event makes it just as enjoyable as a Division I Tournament. "The level of play is quite entertaining for a fraction of the hassle to get tickets and arrangements for that event."

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