K-State Wins Big 12 Pack the House Challenge

The First Sustainment Bridgade and their families in attendance at the Jan. 9 game against Oklahoma State.

April 21, 2011

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State was one of 33 winners in the NCAA Division I "Pack the House" Challenge in an announcement by the NCAA. K-State's "Pack the House" contest was on Jan. 9 against Oklahoma State.

"Pack the House" is a national effort in which conferences and institutions compete to build attendance. NCAA Division I women's basketball marketing staffs selected a home game and designated that date as a "Pack the House" game with the goal of setting an attendance record. One winner from each of the 32 conferences and one from a group of independent institutions were named. Selections were based on marketing plan creativity and attendance criteria.

As winners of the "Pack the House" challenge, the NCAA awarded a donation of $500 to the nonprofit organization of K-State's choice, which was the USO at Fort Riley. On Thursday, members of the K-State women's basketball team and the 1st Sustainment Brigade presented a check to April Blackmon, Director of USO Fort Riley, on behalf of the NCAA.

The USO is a private, non-profit, non-partisan organization whose mission is to lift the spirits of troops and their families by providing morale, welfare and recreation-type services and support. This donation will support USO center operations, which assists more than 3,500 troops and families a month.

"We are extremely appreciative and proud of our great fans, the amazing soldiers and families from Fort Riley and of the work and efforts of the K-State promotions and marketing staff," said Kansas State head coach Deb Patterson. "Their participation and successful efforts at our `Pack the House' event are a reflection of the great university and community support we have here at K-State."

K-State hosted 9,024 fans at its women's basketball game on Jan. 9 against Oklahoma State, a 63-45 win over the Cowgirls in the Big 12 home opener for the Wildcats. The 9,024 fans was a season-high in Bramlage Coliseum and was the highest attended women's game in Bramlage since March 31, 2006 when K-State hosted the WNIT Final in front of a sell-out crowd of 13,340. The win by the Wildcats improved K-State's record under head coach Deb Patterson to 40-9 (.816) when the attendance inside Bramlage Coliseum is 7,500 or larger.

The Wildcats' "Pack the House" promotion included $1 tickets, $1 concession items, America's Best Frisbee Dogs performing at halftime and the attendance of the women's basketball partner at Fort Riley, the First Sustainment Brigade and their families.

Kansas State finished the season ranked 24th in the nation in average attendance with 4,068 per game coming through the turnstiles. It is the third straight season and the eighth time in the last 10 seasons that K-State has finished among the top-25 in average attendance.

"We believe this initiative has served as a catalyst to increase attendance, create excitement and enhance exposure for our women's basketball programs," said NCAA Vice President of Division I Women's Basketball Sue Donohoe. "Institution personnel committed a great deal of time, effort and resources to this program and the results were extremely positive. This program provides great `best practices' and examples of success for institutions that are seeking to `grow' women's basketball and these success stories will continue to strengthen efforts in the future."

Events at Army, Baylor, Duke, Gonzaga, Louisville, Marist, Michigan State, Navy, Oregon and Pacific produced sell-out crowds. Sixty-nine programs surpassed their single-game attendance highs from last year.

Winners of the 2010-11 NCAA "Pack the House" Challenge are:

America East - Binghamton University
Atlantic Coast - Duke
Atlantic Sun - Florida Gulf Coast
Atlantic 10 - Rhode Island
Big East - Louisville
Big Sky -Sacramento State
Big South - Gardner-Webb
Big Ten - Michigan State
Big 12 - Kansas State
Big West - Pacific
Colonial - Old Dominion
Conference USA - Houston
Great West - Utah Valley
Horizon - Green Bay
Ivy - Pennsylvania
Metro Atlantic - Marist
Mid-American - Central Michigan
Mid-Eastern - South Carolina State
Missouri Valley - Wichita State
Mountain West - Air Force
Northeast - Central Connecticut State
Ohio Valley - Eastern Illinois
Pacific-10 - Oregon
Patriot - Army
Southeastern - Auburn
Southern - Samford
Southland - Texas State
SWAC - Jackson State
Summit - Oral Roberts
Sun Belt - Western Kentucky
West Coast - San Francisco
WAC - Louisiana Tech
Independents - Longwood
Marist - Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference