Best news of Oct. 9, 2013 coming from the NCAA is an almost unprecedented honor: Texas A&M will be home to the First and Second Rounds of the 2014 NCAA Division 1 Women’s Basketball Championship, announced Wednesday afternoon. Besides College Station, TX, only two other sites, Baton Rouge, LA and College Park, MD have been chosen to host three consecutive years.
“Texas A&M is all about hosting championships and competing for championships,” said head coach Gary Blair. “We look forward to hosting the NCAA First and Second Rounds for the third year in a row at Reed Arena.
Last year, 13,111 fans attended the 2013 first- and second-rounds of the NCAA tournament, when Texas A&M women’s basketball fell to Nebraska. Then, in 2012, statistics noted that 12,592 fans attended the first two rounds in College Station, and numbers from both years combined were strong enough to convince the NCAA to extend the prestigious invitation once again. The Bryan-College Station also benefited substantially with (at least) 25,703 people contributing to the local economy, a win-win for everyone.
“I think that the NCAA looked at our attendance, our hospitality, and our facility, making the decision to come back a no-brainer,” said Blair. “Our administration has gone above and beyond, particularly Assistant Athletic Director Steve Miller, in getting the tournament back to College Station for the third year in a row.”
Anyone who knows Aggie Head Coach Gary Blair knows that today he’s officially begun encouraging people to get their tickets. The man is an ingenious marketer and he’s relentless in his enthusiasm and love of the game, his team, and our school. To wit:
“I’m extremely happy to be hosting again. It is now up to community to support it, buy tickets early, no matter who’s coming to play,” said Blair. “Then the pressure’s on me to get a team good enough to compete in our own first- and second-round games. I think this will excite our fans, and the families of our student-athletes.”
Officials with Aggie Athletics noted “Texas A&M is one of four schools from the SEC to host the first- and second-roung games in 2014.”
The Bryan-College Station community and Texas A&M University have grown to provide outstanding support for women’s basketball, thanks in large part to Coach Gary Blair, who has been such an ambassador for the sport,” said Texas A&M Director of Athletics Eric Hyman. “We are thrilled that the NCAA has once again selected Texas A&M as a first- and second-round tournament site, and we look forward to welcoming women’s basketball fans to Aggieland."
If the Texas A&M women’s basketball team qualifies, and there is every biased and unbiased reason to expect that they will, the year 2014 will mark Texas A&M’s ninth consecutive appearance in the tournament, and the official start on their road to the Final Four will now begin at their home, beautiful Reed Arena, in College Station, Texas. At least two new hotels are opening before year-end (Hilton Garden Inn on University Drive East and IHG's Staybridge Suites behind Panera's), so there are even more options for out-of-town guests beyond the great ones here already.
It just doesn’t get any better than this, if you are a fan of Texas A&M women’s basketball. Less than 30 days until Texas A&M opens its season on Nov. 3 with an exhibition game against Oklahoma City in Reed Arena. There's still time to order the most affordable, highest-value for the low, low price season tickets; visit www.aggieathletics.com for information and orders.