Women's Hoops Wins A-Sun ‘Pack the House' Challenge
Friday, March 11, 2011

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Florida Gulf Coast University was one of 33 winners in the NCAA Division I "Pack the House" Challenge. FGCU hosted a program regular season record 2,921 fans at its women's basketball game versus ETSU on Feb. 7 at Alico Arena in the A-Sun/CSS Game of the Week.

The NCAA awards a $500 donation prize to the nonprofit organization of each winning institution's choice. FGCU will donate its prize to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southwest Florida, which is also the FGCU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee’s (S.A.A.C.) charity for the year.

"Pack the House" is 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. More than half of the Division I membership – 178 institutions – participated in the effort that attracted more than 554,000 fans.

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.

“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.”

“The ‘Pack the House’ game was an excellent example of campus collaboration,” said Director of Corporate Sales and Marketing Denise Da Silveira. “This ‘Pack the House’ event was a culmination of nearly a year of developing strategies to take our incredible women’s basketball program and showcase them both on campus and in southwest Florida. We look forward to trying hard to win the award next year and are so proud of our community and university support. Winning this challenge along with the A-Sun receiving the NCAA Women’s Basketball Grant this year is another step forward for FGCU Athletics, in particular the women's basketball team.”

Winners of the 2010-11 NCAA "Pack the House" Challenge are:
America East - Binghamton
Atlantic Coast - Duke
Atlantic Sun - FGCU
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
MAAC - 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 - MAAC