The NCAA Division III women’s basketball championship was held in the Health Enhancement Center’s Quandt Fieldhouse on March 21 and 22, providing the university and Stevens Point community a unique opportunity for positive publicity.
This tournament gave the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point a unique opportunity to be in the national spotlight.
“Over 400 universities with DIII women’s basketball teams started this season with the goal of playing in the championship game at UWSP,” said university chief of staff Rob Manzke. ” In addition to the visibility, we received financial support and equipment from the NCAA.”
The university and community alike have benefited from tournament.
“The benefits for UWSP and our entire community were immeasurable, garnering us dozens of local, regional and national media exposure in conjunction with the event,” said director of athletics Daron Montgomery.
The turnout for the games was quite impressive, showing great support for UWSP student athletes.
“Our strong attendance at the games from local basketball fans simply reinforces how passionate our residents are for college basketball,” Montgomery said.
In order to attain this successful turnout, the preparation in the months leading up to this event was rigorous and detailed.
“The NCAA Planning Committee included representatives from the Stevens Point Conventions and Visitors Bureau,” Manzke said. ” They helped us coordinate the hotel blocks and many of the other community-related activities.”
There was also a lot of work that went into preparing the HEC for this event that included replacing flooring and repainting near the lock rooms.
“We collaborated with Paul Hasler and his Facility Services colleagues to make several improvements in the HEC in preparation for the men’s basketball first and second round games, men’s basketball sectional games, and ultimately the women’s basketball national semifinals and national championship,” Montgomery said.
Additionally, preparation for the event required detailed management of funds.
“Clean fund accounting was required to provide the NCAA with an overall financial report when the event was completed,” said Greg Diemer, vice chancellor for business affairs.
In regards to finances, the event turned out as predicted by the university.
“Financially, the event broke even, and that is what we expected,” Diemer said. “We did not expect the event to make money, but it was of value to the athletic department as well as to the campus and community as a result of the publicity it provided.”
Although the university did not experience any major financial gain, the effect on the community was profound.
“The community was the benefactor of having a number of out of town guests who spent money on food, gas, lodging and various other items in the area,” Diemer said.
This event was also an excellent opportunity to show off all that the city of Stevens Point and UWSP has to offer.
“This tournament showed the NCAA and the campuses who participated the excellent facilities and hospitality UWSP and the Stevens Point community provide,” Diemer said.
The tournament would not have been possible had it not been for UWSP staff and services.
“Several members of our athletic, facility services, ticket service and chancellor’s staff worked very long hours to make sure everything was in place for our guests to have a great experience,” Diemer said.