March 14, 2008
After welcoming 969,038 patrons in its first decade, the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament broke the one-million barrier in total attendance with a sellout crowd of 18,691 during Friday night's session at Conseco Fieldhouse. Through three sessions of this year's event, the Big Ten has welcomed 47,898 fans to boost the all-time tournament attendance to 1,016,936.
"The Big Ten boasts the best fans in the country and that support has been evident during the first 11 years of the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament," said Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany. "The Big Ten is on pace to lead the country in men's regular season basketball attendance for the 32nd consecutive year and the passion and intensity of these fans carries over to the tournament atmosphere. We look forward to welcoming another million fans in the years to come."
Alvin Caldwell of Danville, Ill., was officially honored as the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament's One-Millionth Fan and won four all-session tickets to the 2009 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament, a three-night stay at a selected hotel, two $300 airline vouchers from Gant Travel and a $150 gift certificate to the BigTenStore.com powered by TeamFanShop. In addition, he was honored with a halftime presentation on the court during Friday night's Illinois-Purdue game.
The 2008 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament continues on Saturday, March 15, with a pair of semifinal games starting at 1:40 p.m. ET at Conseco Fieldhouse. The Big Ten Conference is in the first of a five-year commitment that places both the men's and women's tournaments in Indianapolis through 2012. Single-session tickets for the semifinals or finals of the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament can be purchased through the Conseco Fieldhouse box office, Ticketmaster outlets, www.ticketmaster.com, or by calling Ticketmaster at (317) 239-5151.