- The Washington Times - Monday, March 16, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Ticket sales fell about 15 percent for this year’s Big Ten men’s basketball tournament, and organizers blamed the drop on the struggling economy.

The Indiana Sports Corp. says 68,098 tickets were sold for the four-day tournament at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis that ended Sunday. That’s down from last year’s 80,012.

Purdue’s appearance in the championship game Sunday against Ohio State didn’t boost the crowd figures. The game drew 12,526 fans, down from 14,579 last year when Wisconsin defeated Illinois at Conseco, which holds 18,345 fans.

Sports Corp. spokesman John Dedman says the strength of the event shows in that the attendance drop wasn’t greater.

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