October 17, 2008
While financial worries continued to spread this week, Tulane was working on a local economic stimulus package of its own, helping to make the case for New Orleans to host one of the premier college sporting events in the country - the NCAA Final Four Men's Basketball Tournament.
On Tuesday and Wednesday university leaders, including myself and Athletics Director Rick Dickson, city and local tourism officials and various sports foundations pitched New Orleans to the NCAA Site Selection Committee for the Men's Final Four Basketball Championship Tournament in either 2012, 2015 or 2016. Serving as the host city for this event would reap significant economic benefits for New Orleans, while also providing the opportunity to showcase our recovery in front of a nationwide audience.
Tulane's participation as a host institution for the tournament would also involve an educational component through our proposed Final4YOUth initiative. This program would introduce middle and high school students to career opportunities available in sports including athletic training, game operations, media relations, sales, marketing, management and more.
I believe our case to the Site Selection Committee was excellent and, of course, New Orleans has a long and successful history of hosting marquee sporting events. Still, the competition from other cities is tough. The committee should make a final decision in the coming months. Until then, keep rooting for the home team. This is one game we don't want to miss. Today's Times-Picayune has a great editorial to this effect: "A Championship City."
On a separate note, I hope all of you have registered to vote for the upcoming presidential election. Voting is one of the most important responsibilities of citizens in a democratic society and the best way we have to express our desires for the future of the country. Please remember to vote Nov. 4.
Have a great weekend,
218 Gibson Hall, Tulane University, 6823 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5201 firstname.lastname@example.org