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Expect Plenty of CBI Home Games For UTEP

Steve Kaplowitz.

On Wednesday night, the Miners begin their first postseason in three years when they host Fresno State in the first round of the College Basketball Invitational (CBI). Judging from the last time UTEP participated in the CBI, they will most likely be playing most (if not all) of their games at the Don Haskins Center. After a quick analysis of the 16-team field, no other school has home attendance figures that come close to the Miners (8,208 fans per game). Siena was the next best with 6,593 fans per home game, Penn State was right behind with 6,500 fans, Texas A&M averaged 5,367 fans, Illinois State had 5,133 fans, and Oregon State had 4,108 fans per home game. Tulane, who is also in UTEP’s bracket and playing host to Princeton this week, averaged an embarrassing 1,733 fans per home game. Add in a $10 general admission ticket for the CBI and I would expect at least 8,000 fans for Wednesday night’s game. Unlike other postseason tournaments, the Gazelle Group, which owns the CBI, requires a minimum ticket guarantee for home games. They are also aware that UTEP will generate more fans than the other teams playing in the tournament. All the Miners need to do is win and they will continue to play at the Don Haskins Center.

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