First, our sincere
congratulations to Jeff Vasser and everyone at the Atlantic City Convention and
Visitor's Authority. Before Vasser's stint as Executive Director, this type of
event would never have come to Atlantic City in the first
So, that alone is a
feather in the cap of this dynamic sales team. The ACC&VA has a demonstrated
track record and commitment to bringing high quality, national caliber events to
Atlantic City. The end result, this spins into significant local commerce, as
well as generating casino revenue and hotel room nights.
It also continues to
demonstrate that Atlantic City's footprint as a major event player in America
continues to grow.
The second year of this
event being staged in Atlantic City was a huge success.
The ACC&VA did
everything it could to will this event into becoming successful. They
executed great service, accommodations and other important ancillary details.
This has now helped to set the stage to keep this event in Atlantic City
for potentially years to come.
The event this year
exceeded last year's overall attendance by several thousand.
But, one of the most
important things that occurred this year, was completely out of the hands of
Vasser and the ACC&VA team.
Like it was sent as a
gift from God, Temple and St. Joseph's made their way to the Atlantic 10
Championship game. As great as this sounded, the pressure was really on now!
Because, the conventional theory was that if these two teams could make it
to the final game, then the Boardwalk Hall event arena would be packed.
No excuses remained.
None were needed. Theory has now become reality, as 10,100 people packed
their way into Boardwalk Hall this past Saturday night. The scene could not have
been grander! Just a mere whisker away from a complete sellout (10,800
important factor was completely out of their control, and, it may have just
landed Atlantic City the opportunity to nail down a multi-year deal to keep
the Atlantic 10 Men's Basketball Tournament here for years to come.
In the short
time that Linda Bruno remains as the A-10 Conference
Commissioner, now is the time to negotiate a long-term contract, which I know
Vasser and his staff are efforting mightily to accomplish this as we speak.
Timing is everything and the timing couldn't be better.
I remind you
that hard work and talent only goes so far! I am really confident that they
will be able to strike a long-term deal ... and, just remember, that the final
case was made, when Atlantic City demonstrated on Saturday March 15, 2008 that
it could deliver 10,100 people on one night, for one great championship
It was also nice to see
that both Temple University and St. Joseph's University both made it to the NCAA
elite Tournament this year. With Xavier, this gives the Atlantic 10
Conference three teams in the NCAA Tourney, with several other bubble teams just
This event staying in
Atlantic City is more important then many people realize. First, it's great for
business and the overall reputation of Atlantic City as a true destination
resort. It also demonstrates that Atlantic City can feature top flight
sporting and entertainment events.
success the ACC&VA has had with the Atlantic 10 Tournament could easily
be the precursor for Atlantic City becoming a Preliminary round site for
even higher NCAA Tournament events.