Mountain West tourneys to return to Las Vegas
SALT LAKE CITY -- The Mountain West Conference basketball tournaments are returning to Las Vegas after a two-year run of low attendance in Denver.
The league will hold the men's and women's tournaments in Denver again next spring, then return to Las Vegas from 2007-2010 with an option for two more years after that.
"I don't think it was a failure on Denver's part. I just think they felt that there was more to offer in total in Las Vegas," MWC commissioner Craig Thompson said at the league's media day Thursday.
The tournaments will return to the Thomas & Mack Center, the home arena of UNLV. Some coaches complained that playing for the conference title at home gave the Rebels an unfair advantage. But Thompson noted that from 2000-2003, UNLV only won the tournament on his home floor once, in 2000. The Rebels did also make the finals in 2001 and 2002.
Attendance for the men's tournament in 2004, the first season it was in Denver, averaged 8,322 -- more than 5,100 fewer than 2003 in Las Vegas. Last season attendance at the men's tournament increased slightly to 8,974.
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press
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