Regional at South needs changesMarch 3rd, 2010 at 2:52 pm by Rob Lehocky under FOX10 Sports
The AHSAA says the South Regional basketball tournament at the Mitchell Center drew less than 10,000 fans over five days in late February, far less than the other three regionals around the state.
Not super news for the Mobile area after the regional was rightly returned to the Port City after three years in Troy.
However, some simple changes would probably double that figure next year.
One – and this is really simple — the tournament won’t have to deal with Mardi Gras as it did this year. It started on Fat Tuesday. So, by doing nothing, that one’s already taken care of.
Two, since the games are IN MOBILE, let the student bodies go to the games. I was at the LeFlore boys game that week against Greenville, and Greenville had MORE fans because it brought a big group of students to the game. It felt like a Greenville home game in Mobile.
At the state championships last week in Birmingham, the Baker boys went up against Bob Jones AND its entire student body. It had a huge crowd and I remember thinking to myself, these games should be in Montgomery because it’s more centralized than Birmingham. Mobile is four-plus hours away so it would be difficult and expensive to get students to the state championships. However, Huntsville is a decent drive, too, and it somehow got hundreds of students to the game.
So, that said, why can’t Mobile-area schools get their students to regional games in Mobile? Seems like we could get the kids away from school for a few hours for a big event, especially since its so difficult to get them to Birmingham.
Third, the LeFlore girls played at 9am and the boys at 10:30am. The Davidson girls played at 9am and the Baker boys at 10:30am. Why? Those four teams — playing in 5A and 6A respectively – need to be in the afternoon and evening sessions, not the morning. Who can go watch high school basketball at 9am?
The AHSAA scheduled the Leroys and McIntoshes in the afternoon and evening. That makes no sense.
Those simple changes would make a huge difference.
Mobile deserves to host the regional tournament and hopefully next year it will prove it.