NCAA TOURNAMENT OPENING ROUNDS
March 3, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
RALEIGH ROLLS OUT RED CARPET CITYWIDE FOR
NCAA TOURNAMENT OPENING ROUNDS,
Local Organizing Committee Announces "Raleigh Roundball Roadshow"
And Other Initiatives to Showcase Host City's Appeal
RALEIGH (March 3, 2008) - There is no city in America better suited to host the excitement, spirit and fun of March Madness than Raleigh, N.C., the nation's hotbed for college basketball. That's the message Raleigh's NCAA tournament Local Organizing Committee (LOC) intends to make loud and clear when the teams, fans, media and VIPs roll into town for the men's first and second rounds at the RBC Center beginning March 21.
For nearly a year the LOC, comprised of representatives from 12 public and private entities based in Raleigh, has been working with N.C. State, the NCAA's official host institution, to develop ways to welcome and entertain visitors and build excitement for the event in the local community. Their efforts have led to the creation of the "Raleigh Roundball Roadshow."
The Raleigh Roundball Roadshow is a fan entertainment program developed by the LOC for both visiting and local fans, with or without tickets, to know where to go to watch all the opening round action from around the country. Ten sports bars located throughout Raleigh and Cary will be showing all the games live and welcoming fans with food and drink specials, special signage and souvenir premiums. There will be a Roadshow web site and promotional materials available providing information and venue locations.
"This is part of a community-wide effort to roll out the red carpet for all fans, participants and special guests in town for the opening rounds being played at the RBC Center," said Scott Dupree, director of sports marketing for the Greater Raleigh Convention & Visitors Bureau and co-chair of the LOC. "Our goal is to create an exciting, welcoming environment that's in keeping with the area's reputation as the epicenter of the college basketball world, and demonstrate that when it comes to hosting a top-tier sporting event, no community works harder to put on a first class show than Raleigh does."
Roadshow venues located in the downtown area include Woody's in City Market, Hi-5 and Stool Pigeons on Glenwood South, and nearby Napper Tandy's. Outside the beltline, venues include Sky Box at the Hilton North Raleigh, Fox & Hound at North Hills, Blinco's on Glenwood North and Carolina Ale House at Brier Creek. Cary venues include Woody's and Carolina Ale House on Walnut St.
Led by N.C. State, the Greater Raleigh CVB, the Greater Raleigh Sports Council, Gale Force Holdings (operators of the RBC Center), the City of Raleigh and the Centennial Authority, the LOC has worked throughout the year to raise the level of excellence it hopes to showcase to the NCAA, and to strengthen the bids that will soon be submitted for hosting either opening rounds or regional finals in 2011 and 2012.
The LOC has also organized a series of special events for visiting media and fans attending the first and second round games at the RBC Center. In addition, pole banners and signage will be seen throughout the city, from RDU International Airport and the RBC Center to the Glenwood South corridor and downtown, as well as in the 10 designated host hotels and the 10 Raleigh Roundball Roadshow venues. Special guests and VIPs, including the presidents, athletic directors and basketball coaches of the eight universities competing at the RBC Center, will receive special hospitality gifts as will the visiting NCAA tournament committee member and staff.
Visitor information locations will include the RBC Center, each of the official hotels, all three airport terminals and the new downtown Visitors Center on Fayetteville St. The News & Observer, represented on the LOC, plans to produce a special tournament wrap for the newspaper each day of competition, which will be delivered to every guest room in all 10 host hotels.
"We're excited about and proud of the efforts of the LOC that will put the area's passion for college basketball and N.C. State University's ability to host a premier sporting event on center stage," said Chris Alston, director of marketing promotions for N.C. State Athletics. "In addition to the fun and excitement enjoyed by the local community and everyone visiting, the N.C. State athletic department and the university as a whole stand to benefit as a result."
Along with Dupree and Alston, members of the LOC include co-chair Shannon Yates (NCSU), vice-chair Alison Barnwell (Greater Raleigh Sports Council), John Brantley (RDU Int'l. Airport), Lindy Brown (Wake County Board of Commissioners), Dick Christy (NCSU), Tom Dillon (Sheraton Raleigh), Rick French (French/West/Vaughan and Greater Raleigh Sports Council Chairman), Felicia Gressette (News & Observer), Philip Isley (Raleigh City Council), Tracey Lovejoy (Downtown Raleigh Alliance), Tom McCormick (City of Raleigh and Centennial Authority), Larry Perkins (RBC Center), Jason Philbeck (Greater Raleigh CVB) and Theresa Tyler (Greater Raleigh CVB).
For additional information, contact Scott Dupree at 919-645-2657 or Chris Alston at 919-865-1421. The Raleigh Roundball Roadshow web site, www.raleighroundballroadshow.com, is scheduled to launch on or before March 10.