UIL may be mulling new location for state basketball

AUSTIN (KXAN/AP) – Tickets sales for the 2015 state high school basketball tournament have been postponed while the University Interscholastic League considers options for date and locations, the governing body said in a statement posted on their website.

“The UIL is considering the best possible solution to the difficulties with availability and affordability of hotels caused by concurrent events, as well as other event-related issues, and will be making a decision as soon as possible,” the statement said.

In March, the Associated Press reported the rise in popularity of South by Southwest, which overlaps with the tournament, was forcing organizers of the state boys’ basketball tournament to consider either a change in venue or new dates for games.

An event that once drew more than 100,000 spectators, attendance over the past 10 years for tournament games at the Frank Erwin Center has dropped to less than 70,000.

A factor in the decline is the difficulty in finding affordable hotel rooms, according to Charles Breithaupt, executive director of the University Interscholastic League.

SXSW is driving the price of rooms up to $250 to $450 a night. The result is basketball teams forced to find lodging in surrounding towns, and in some case up to an hour away.

“We’re worried about it, because hotel space is at a premium,” Breithaupt told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in March. “Our folks are not going to spend $300 to $400 a night on a hotel — if they can get them.”

UIL has already asked city leaders in San Antonio about the possibility of playing the tournament at the Alamodome, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

Below are the attendance number for the girls and boys basketball tournaments for the past three years:

2012 Girls: 53,353

2013 Girls: 47,892

2014 Girls: 43,189

 

2012 Boys: 72,306

2013 Boys: 83,213

2014 Boys: 79,688

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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