Tuesday, June 25

[NCAA Championship]: Nosebleed won’t stop the cheers


INDIANAPOLIS “”mdash; When John Kauffman returns home to Michigan
with his 12-year-old son Mitch on Tuesday, he plans to recount to
whoever will listen about their experience at the Final Four.

He’ll have ticket stubs to prove it.

Section 347. Aisle 26. Seats 9-10.

What Kauffman won’t tell people, however, is that where he
and his son actually watched the game might have been in a
different zip code than the actual basketball court.

The RCA Dome in Indianapolis, site of the Final Four, is
converted from a football facility to accommodate basketball
settings.

The strategy, annually adopted for the Final Four, ensures there
will be more people in attendance than at a typical basketball
game. Of course, that doesn’t mean all of the fans can
exactly watch the game from within the stadium.

Kauffman, a Kentucky fan, had perhaps the worst view of the
43,822 in attendance on Saturday, and spent $125 a ticket for
it.

A crane obstructed a large portion of his view of the
benches.

Camera platforms made one of the baskets magically
disappear.

The light stands cast a glare onto the court.

And then there’s the distance. Kauffman and his son sat by
themselves three rows from the top of the upper deck well behind
improvised bleachers. They actually had better views of the
caterers setting up for the post-game party than they did of the
game. Binoculars were of little help.

“I would say the view here is pretty bad,” Kauffman
said. “I think we will just end up looking at the
(television) monitor a lot.

“Unfortunately we didn’t have enough money to get a
better ticket. So we’ll have to settle for this.”

Kauffman, who contemplated attending the Final Four since last
week, only decided to attend Friday night for his son Mitch, who
just recently showed an interest in basketball.

While Kauffman understands that some people might think spending
$125 per ticket to watch a game on a screen is wasteful when you
can do the same at home, he doesn’t doubt whether it was
worth the investment.

“Absolutely it will be worth it,” Kauffman said.
“This will be special for us.”

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