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April 14, 2009

Final Four attendance records

Another press release, pasted for your reading pleasure:

DETROIT, April 14, 2009 — The NCAA released attendance figures today for the ancillary events of the 2009 NCAA Men’s Final Four weekend in Detroit. Attendance records were broken at several of the NCAA’s marquee events: The Big Dance®, NCAA Hoop City® refreshed by Coca-Cola, the Final Four Dribble, and the Road to the Final Four® 5K Run/Walk.

•    Final Four Friday - An estimated 32-34,000 fans visited Ford Field to watch participating teams’ practices and the Hershey®’s College All-Star game, Friday, April 3.

•    The Big Dance – An estimated 300,000 music fans visited the Detroit Riverfront over three days for food, fun, and free concerts from national recording artists and 40 local bands.
o    AT&T Block Party (Friday) – 60,000 fans braved cold weather with a peak of 25,000 fans for the AT&T Block Party to see Detroit’s own Big Sean, Jesse McCartney, and N.E.R.D. take the main stage.
o    Big Dance Saturday (Saturday) – 125,000 fans attended Big Dance Saturday with a peak of 60,000 to see Keith Sweat, Gavin DeGraw, and the Pussycat Dolls perform and to watch the games on the giant video board afterward.
o    My Coke Fest™ (Sunday) – 115,000 fans with a peak of 50,000 fans were entertained by Ryan Seacrest at My CokeFest as he introduced performances from Parachute, Janelle Monáe, Gym Class Heroes, Staind, and Fergie.

•    NCAA Hoop City refreshed by Coca-Cola – 76,079 NCAA basketball fans visited Cobo Center over the first three days for basketball competitions, clinics, performances, photo ops, prizes, chances to experience other NCAA sports, autograph sessions and more. (Attendance figures for the fourth and final day were not available at press time.)

•    Road to the Final Four 5K Run/Walk - 1,702 runners participated in the race through downtown and along the Detroit Riverfront on Saturday, April 4

•    National Semifinals and Championship – more than 145,000 fans attended the national semi-final and championship games over the weekend.

“Detroit proved itself to be one of America’s great sports and music cities and exceeded all expectations for the weekend,” said Greg Shaheen, NCAA senior vice president of basketball and business strategies.  “This weekend was a celebration of another great NCAA men’s basketball season and millions of people who follow the game from every corner of the country and world. Detroiters demonstrated great warmth, spirit, and hospitality and helped make this a memorable weekend for visiting and local fans alike.”

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Joe Rexrode
MSU Sports Reporter
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