Basketball Tournament Bringing City Big Bucks - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Basketball Tournament Bringing City Big Bucks

This weekend thousands of tourists will make their way to Wichita Falls.  The city is hosting the 30 annual Fantasy of Lights Basketball Tournament, the largest in the country.

An expected 76 teams are coming from three states and one from another country.  It's been a busy time getting brackets ready to accommodate all the teams.

Seventy-six teams, 130 games, and 800 basketball players will fill the courts of area schools for the country's largest basketball tournament.

"Good attendance, good economic impact for the city of Wichita Falls, and a lot of students get to see MSU," said Carmen Lozipone, Executive Director of the Fantasy of Lights Basketball Tournament.

Lozipone has been gearing up for this event since last February.  He was in touch with coaches and teams from all over the U.S. and even the world, Australia in particular.

"I happened to find them on the web so I talked to their coach and I invited them to the tournament, they're coming they'll be hear tomorrow night," said Lozipone.

The tournament is set to bring in 5,000 people and $1.7 million to the city.
 
"Those folks are staying in hotels, they are getting out and shopping, they are eating in our restaurants, they are filling up at the gas stations.  That money can roll over in our city multiple times," said MPEC Director, Lindsay Greer.

Even with 76 teams on the roster, it's a little less than last year, still Lozipone awaits the year
for when the entire bracket is filled to its capacity.

"The closest I ever got was 92, the whole bracket is filled at 96 teams, and I don't know if I can manage all 96 teams but I'd like to do it at least one time," said Lozipone.
 
Empty seat at DL Liggon will soon be filled up as well seats from 8 area schools.

They are looking for volunteers for several different positions.  You can log on to fantasyoflights.org and find the contact information there.

Tickets are $8 or one day and $15 for the entire weekend.

Crystal Hall News Channel 6.

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