The Q gets NCAA makeover ahead of finals

The Q gets NCAA makeover ahead of finals
The Q has strict guidelines to follow from the NCAA on what the arena should look like from the floor to the nets. (Source: WOIO)

It's not a renovation, but what is happening inside Quicken Loans Arena ahead of the

certainly qualifies as a transformation.

The Q has strict guidelines to follow from the NCAA on what the arena should look like from the non-descript playing floor, to the nets used on the brackets. 

"They don't want any of the sites to look and feel that much different than any of the others, so that teams don't feel they had an advantage of going to one site over the other," explained David Gilbert, CEO of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission.

Gilbert is quick to add that it is the ability of the host committee to follow those NCAA guidelines that leads to repeat visits from the NCAA. 

"In some ways, that's a big advantage for groups, like us in Cleveland, in that it's regimented in what you do," Gilbert said. "But in some ways, it takes away the creativity we like to have in trying to make our city stand out among the others."

Standing out is important in the ultra competitive business of creating winning bids for major events. But it also means knowing when to market yourself and when it's best to show that you can create an event by following guidelines set out by the organization hosting. 

The Greater Cleveland Sports Commission has made it work and that repeat business is the best indicator of the job it is doing. 

"I really believe if you look at almost any measure, number of events, size and scale, economic impact, Cleveland is absolutely one of the top cities in the country for hosting major events," said Gilbert.

University of Kentucky, University of Notre Dame, West Virginia University and Wichita State University will all get their first look at the arena on Thursday. All four teams are scheduled for a one-hour shoot around. Notre Dame and Wichita will tip off at 7:15 p.m. Kentucky and West Virginia will tip off about 30 minutes after the completion of the first game.

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