May 12, 2000
SPOKANE, Wash. -- - "We are just nuts about the game and we'll go a long way to watch women's basketball," Sherwood, Ore., resident Karel Podolsky commented Wednesday. He had just learned he and wife Catherine bought the 3,000th ticket to next March's NCAA Women's Basketball Regional, slated for the Spokane Arena.
"We just moved here from Illinois and have attended regionals each of the last three years," Karel said. "Last March we flew back to the Big 10 Championship and then watched the regionals in Portland. The year before that it was the regional in Oakland (Calif.). We just love the game."
Apparently a lot of other fans in the Northwest and especially Spokane feel the same way the Podolskys do about women's basketball. None of the event's organizers envisioned hitting the 3,000 mark in less than two months.
"We have been confident all along the tournament will be a success in Spokane, but I don't think anyone would have predicted we could sell 3,000 tickets this quickly," WSU Interim Athletic Director Marcia Saneholtz commented. "Spokane really turned out in record numbers when we had the NCAA Volleyball Championship there three years ago and this is just another indication of the great sports fans we have in Spokane and the northwest."
The two-day record for a NCAA West Regional, according to NCAA officials, is 12,085 in 1996. The largest crowd to watch one game at a West Regional is 7,500 in 1994 when Stanford hosted the tourney and advanced to the Final Four.
"We are well on our way to our goal of selling this event out and establishing another NCAA event attendance record," offered Kevin Twohig, general manager of the Spokane Arena. "This could only happened due to our great partnership with Washington State University and the NCAA, and because we have great fans in the area."
NCAA official Donna Noonan was equally impressed with sales in the first two months.
"We would like to congratulate Washington State and the Spokane community for their great start in their ticket campaign," said the NCAA vice-president for Division I women's basketball. "We're excited about coming to Spokane and thank you for the great support of women's basketball."
Tickets for the three-game are $39, $29 and $19. The priority deadline for early orders will be June 9, with over the counter sales beginning June 19, at all G&B outlets.