Carleton's success on the court hasn't been matched by fan support.Brenning's comment about corporate advertising inventory explains away the dearth of bids for some national championships; Atlantic University Sport basically was bidding against itself for the 2011 and '12 men's basketball tournament.
Attendance for the three-day tournament was 73,126 -- including 15,852 combined for the two games yesterday. That wasn't as high as anticipated, said Carleton athletic director Jennifer Brenning, the tournament chairwoman.
"I'm a bit disappointed, but we're head-to-head with the 67's and the retirement of (Brian) Kilrea, so that would be a factor, and it's a beautiful day out," she said.
Brenning said the tournament lost money last year, and she just hoped to break even this year. Carleton has one more year of hosting the Final 8 before it moves back to Halifax for 2011 and 2012.
She didn't bid for those championships, and is debating whether she'll try to bring it back for 2013.
"They changed the funding structure, so the CIS holds over 60% of corporate advertising inventory and the host gets the balance. The concept is the host is to purely concentrate on ticket sales," she said.
Any and all suggestions as to why ticket sales were down are welcome; it could be the novelty wore off, or maybe people thought Carleton would win. Also, maybe it's time to study how time is used; four hours dedicated to two consolation-side games on Saturday is one of those really ... really moments? It is understandable you don't want a team to travel from either coast to play one game, lose and be done, but an all-star game and a skills competition might be more of a crowd-pleaser.
Tell you what, the thing with university sports in Canada is people really are there for the game. Getting 8,000 tickets distributed, even in a city Ottawa's size, is nothing to sneeze at.