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View Full Version : The Orleans Arena was a Hit



BobZag
03-10-2009, 10:41 AM
Having the WCC Tournament held at this venue was a grand slam, according to everybody I've talked to. From the convenience of it to the dining to the arena and professional staff working the event.

What are your thoughts? Do share.

former1dog
03-10-2009, 10:43 AM
I wasn't there but all indicators are that it was a HUGE SUCCESS!

a13coach
03-10-2009, 10:47 AM
I was not there either, but like F1D says by all accounts it was a big success. But since both GU teams won the tourney, that means the other schools will vote to move it back to the Slim Gym or the Donkey Dome just to try and make it even tougher for GU to win the tourney--fair play be damned.

former1dog
03-10-2009, 10:49 AM
A13,

Fair point you're making. That said, I think ultimately it will come down to the $Benjamin's. I would find it hard to believe that the conference didn't make out better financially in Vegas than in tournaments past, although I could see reasons that I may be incorrect in that assessment.

Das Zagger
03-10-2009, 10:53 AM
the dining

2 for 1 at the breakfast buffet + player's club card = breakfast for $4.33 a person, that was a win.

Had breakfast one day at the Venitian, 4 people for $70, ouch.

I enjoyed my time though, I did rent a car so I could make it to the strip so that was nice. Didn't like the "no WCC bets" rule though, had to run to the Palms to make those.

GoZags
03-10-2009, 10:59 AM
http://members4.boardhost.com/donscentral/msg/1236706568.html

hockeyzag
03-10-2009, 11:00 AM
It looked like a huge success from TV. And the $$$ aspect of it has to matter to the WCC. I don't see any coaches really complaining about the venue, not the way they do when it's at someone's home court.

I would be VERY happy if the WCC just decided that they were going to play the tournament in Vegas every year.

I had the chance to go this year and will forever regret choosing not to. They better have it in Vegas next year, and if they do I'm not going to miss out.

75Zag
03-10-2009, 11:06 AM
I was initially lukewarm about the WCC in Vegas, but the neutral court benefits this weekend were obvious to me. Orleans Arena is ok. The Orleans Hotel Casino is marginal compared with the high end properties on the Strip but that is just my opinion. Thomas & Mack Arena would be a better venue in my opinion, but perhaps too big for WCC and I am sure that some folks stayed at the Orleans and appreciated not having to drive.

It will be interesting to see if WCC votes to renew in Vegas. The fact that no renewal was announced yesterday causes me to speculate that there is some opposition among non-GU ADs or Presidents. Hope that the fact that Spitzer is a "lame duck" WCC president will not weaken GU's position in demanding renewal of a neutral court site.

Go Bulldogs!

SageOfZagville
03-10-2009, 11:14 AM
ZAGS shot very well there. Fan support was awesome. Sound like a hit to me.

ToreroAlum2
03-10-2009, 11:21 AM
I have to disagree with A13. I was in Vegas and loved it. It was a slam dunk in my opinion. I did not hear one negative comment from anyone. Each school's fans had numerous positive comments that I heard. I did not stay at the Orleans however, not my style.

GoZags
03-10-2009, 11:27 AM
I was initially lukewarm about the WCC in Vegas, but the neutral court benefits this weekend were obvious to me. Orleans Arena is ok. The Orleans Hotel Casino is marginal compared with the high end properties on the Strip but that is just my opinion. Thomas & Mack Arena would be a better venue in my opinion, but perhaps too big for WCC and I am sure that some folks stayed at the Orleans and appreciated not having to drive.

It will be interesting to see if WCC votes to renew in Vegas. The fact that no renewal was announced yesterday causes me to speculate that there is some opposition among non-GU ADs or Presidents. Hope that the fact that Spitzer is a "lame duck" WCC president will not weaken GU's position in demanding renewal of a neutral court site.

Go Bulldogs!


I thought an agreement had been reached on a 10 year deal. I could be mistaken, but that is my belief.

Zag365
03-10-2009, 11:30 AM
Holding the tournament in Vegas was good PR for WCC. I hope they continue this or similar venue. The ESPN announcers liked it. Shots of Vegas skyline at start of TV coverage and during breaks gave the game a "big time" feel. There were occasionals shots of sports personalities in the crowd, e.g., Tarkanian, Riley, etc. that lent a prestige air to the event. From a TV perspective, the WCC tournament came off much bigger and better than any of the other non-BCS league tournaments.

heavyzag
03-10-2009, 11:43 AM
Nice size arena Thomas and Mack would be way too big, heck it felt like K3 Kennel 3 in there last night.....

please keep it in Vegas and out of the Slim Gym.
gosh it goes everyday Zag fans a chance to see our team.
on campus tourneys = bye bye to open ticket purchases ie schools splitting allotments....

lothar98zag
03-10-2009, 11:47 AM
...It will be interesting to see if WCC votes to renew in Vegas. The fact that no renewal was announced yesterday causes me to speculate that there is some opposition among non-GU ADs or Presidents. Hope that the fact that Spitzer is a "lame duck" WCC president will not weaken GU's position in demanding renewal of a neutral court site...
I think the plan was to review the tourney after the fact and then decide on renewing. While announcing a renewal during the tourney would have been the best from a PR standpoint, I can understand the WCC wanting to let the dust settle. I'm not worried, yet, that nothing official has been announced about next year and beyond.

gueastcoast
03-10-2009, 12:16 PM
I was a sceptic at first. But it was a great location!

1) felt like Zag home game
2) for an unnatural bball venue, I felt most of the seats were good (intimate, unlike the Mack which I think would be too big)
3) Bucket o' five beers for $6.25.

For reason 1) there will likely be the noted push to head back to the Slim Gym or other such subpar homer venues.

For reason 3) we need to fight such dastardly subterfuge with all our might.

T-bonedazag
03-10-2009, 12:22 PM
I loved every second of it in Vegas...but Vegas is my type of town...didn't stay at Orleans but I would next year....I liked it and it would be nice to just wake up and go to the game

Go Zags!

zagnut52
03-10-2009, 01:25 PM
Would have loved to have been there in person, but from the tv it looked rather nice......Zags noisemakers get extra applause from me!:)

Zag4Hire
03-10-2009, 01:56 PM
Some of the best bits from my WCC Vegas experience:

1) Having the owner of Pizza Rita sitting behind me and bringing up that his ads slow down the load time for the boards and the post about Pizza Rita ads. He took it in stride.

2) Get this one...My flight home was also the return flight for the SMC Gaels! I proudly donned my Zags hat and had quite a smirk on my face. A priest from the team playfully told me, 'Go easy on us'. I told him that I don't have to say anything, the hat says all I need to say. The SMC admin people were very nice as well. I didn't exchange anything with the players but I had to hold back asking Samhan to autograph my copy of the Las Vegas Journal with a picture of Meech driving right by him. They had to be thinking that GU fans are all over the place. A few notes on the players: Patty Mills is really short, Hughes has a very thick Australian accent, Bennett was dressed very casual, and Samhan acts like he owns the place wherever he goes.

3) Dressing up as Zag Elvis and all the great people in the surrounding seats.

4) Best Drink: Vodka Gimlet @ the Foundation Room
Best Meal: <tie> Rolled Up Tacos @ the Palms and Crab Cake Hoagie @
the Yard House

77Zag
03-10-2009, 02:39 PM
Just got back to home town - it was a great time for sure. We did stay at the Orleans. Upon check-out the clerk was overwhelmed with the Zag support and the success for the Orleans. Never ever have they seen this type of following in Vegas -- very impressive. It was "our house" for sure.

I wish the games were a bit tighter, only to see the K-Club have to push more buttons and work harder. They were on cruz control but the entire fan base was overwhelming for the the other teams.

Went to the Lady Zag games also -- Congrats are in order. It was too bad the pure numbers didn't show for their great efforts and have more to witness their success. Graves is a class act - he worked the crowd thanking as many as he could for showing. I know Vegas has so many other callings, but it would have been great to have more show for our ladies. Perhaps having the Lady final just before the mens?

Finally, the only negative -- the Orleans needs a better, user friendly scoreboard for hoops -- I love the Kennel scoreboard. Perhpas the WCC can request an upgrade for a long term commitment, I know they want us back.

It was an A+ for sure -- great time.

NotoriousZ
03-10-2009, 02:46 PM
Holding the tournament in Vegas was good PR for WCC. I hope they continue this or similar venue. The ESPN announcers liked it. Shots of Vegas skyline at start of TV coverage and during breaks gave the game a "big time" feel. There were occasionals shots of sports personalities in the crowd, e.g., Tarkanian, Riley, etc. that lent a prestige air to the event. From a TV perspective, the WCC tournament came off much bigger and better than any of the other non-BCS league tournaments.

:agreed:

Birddog
03-10-2009, 03:16 PM
Holding the tournament in Vegas was good PR for WCC. I hope they continue this or similar venue. The ESPN announcers liked it. Shots of Vegas skyline at start of TV coverage and during breaks gave the game a "big time" feel. There were occasionals shots of sports personalities in the crowd, e.g., Tarkanian, Riley, etc. that lent a prestige air to the event. From a TV perspective, the WCC tournament came off much bigger and better than any of the other non-BCS league tournaments.
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X2
The announcers were making snide comments to each other about their off hours activities. They also commented a few times about the Orleans being another Kennel, hats off to the fans for that. I'm really starting to like Lavin, and he likes the Zags. I've seen several of his games this year, and I think he has just the right amount of shtick, although I didn't care for the WD40 analogy with Bouldin.

BobZag
03-10-2009, 03:33 PM
If you liked the tourney at The Orleans and would like to see it continue there, do not hesitate to email WCC Commissioner Jamie Zaninovich at jzaninovich@westcoast.org and express how much you liked it, especially compared to the old format of homecourts.

lawzag
03-10-2009, 03:36 PM
for some reason I had it in my head that this initial contract was for more than one year...something about the alumni association looking for a "host hotel" last September that would guarantee a 3 yr contract.

If I'm mistaken, I feel really stupid, because I think I made the "3 yr" comment to like 30 people while traveling to & from Vegas....:o

Oh well, c'est la vie.

I stayed at the Orleans - the hotel was not as nice as some folks on the Board had previously led me to believe, but it was not bad - "lower middle of the road" definitely, not an MGM, Wynn or Cesear's, but also not as old and worn as some of the other nearby hotels.

The staff was extremely helpful (with the exception of the 'night shift' security guy at the elevator - who was a jerk). The venue was a good size, but could do a couple of things to improve the "basketball game viewing experience:
1) improve the score board
2) do something about the "obstructiveness" of the baskets they used
3) increase the seating on the flat horseshoe side


Also, I was APPALLED that GU did not take ANY pep band members (due to budget issues) -- come on! the WCC bottom feeders that were not in it for a championship were able to afford taking a pep band & GU - the primary contender for the championship couldn't - that was the one issue about the event that really set me off!

webspinnre
03-10-2009, 05:24 PM
lawzag - I played in the pep band "back" in my days, and we never got to go to the WCC tourneys. Had this changed in recent years?

The other benefit I see to Vegas is the possibility of us winning the conference tourney there regularly, and increasing our profile in Nevada, which turns out some pretty solid recruits.

tyra
03-10-2009, 05:49 PM
1) Pretty good seating for a hockey house.
2) Sat right behind Gary Payton on champ night. He freely gave autographs and pix, contrary to his image in Seattle where he was considered a bit of a pr**ck.
3) Stayed at the Emerald Suites (low end) right across from the Orleans because I brought my whole family in. 5 minute walk to game :) And cheap (and understandably so).
4) Rode home on plane with Lady Zags. Way cool. Why didn't they ride back on guys' plane. Ran into "plane crew" in casino who told me it is a 100 seater. Why wasn't the womens' team on board???
5) At SeaTac, walked off the subway with Father Spitzer, one of the world's great guys. He will be missed.
6) Oh, yea, some pretty cool bball too. I vote a return to the Orleans!

RenoZag
03-10-2009, 05:59 PM
Re: The Venue

Not really a bad seat in the house. The ushers and others were very helpful and friendly. I didn't care for the "no re-entry" policy; when you have a half hour or so between games, you should be able to get a hand stamp or just show your ticket and get back in. An usher said it was done that way at the request of the WCC.

As far as the overwhelming percentage of Zag maniacs in attendance: If the other schools don't like it, they can always buy more tickets.

I can't imagine either the WCC or The Orleans lost money on this deal. Hope they return. The WCC & The Orleans have a four year deal, but only this first year was locked in; the last three years were optional and both sides wanted to see how the tourney played out . . .as described elsewhere on the GUB, the folks at The Orleans think the WCC will definitely renew the deal.

This is a view from the east balcony:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3573/3345235167_28fcfe96ee.jpg

GoZags
03-10-2009, 05:59 PM
Holding the tournament in Vegas was good PR for WCC. I hope they continue this or similar venue. The ESPN announcers liked it. Shots of Vegas skyline at start of TV coverage and during breaks gave the game a "big time" feel. There were occasionals shots of sports personalities in the crowd, e.g., Tarkanian, Riley, etc. that lent a prestige air to the event. From a TV perspective, the WCC tournament came off much bigger and better than any of the other non-BCS league tournaments.

Wait until you see the Pac 10 tourney (that is, if you're lucky enough to get the obscure cable outlet (public access?) that has the t.v. contract. Okay, it's Fox (not public access) but it's certainly not ESPN and there's certainly not any atmosphere in Staples Center (unless you really like the sound of sneakers squealing on hardwood).

GonzagaGurl08
03-10-2009, 06:25 PM
The only time in the years I was in the band that we "went" to the WCC tourney is when we hosted it. It would be nice to see the band do some fundraising projects to raise money to go. I think that SCU's band has some that they do. They could do a car wash or even a food drive, and have people bring cans for the food bank and then have donations for the band.

rennis
03-11-2009, 08:56 AM
If you liked the tourney at The Orleans and would like to see it continue there, do not hesitate to email WCC Commissioner Jamie Zaninovich at jzaninovich@westcoast.org and express how much you liked it, especially compared to the old format of homecourts.

I did just that, here was the QUICK reply:



Rhett-

Thank you so very much for your kind email. As you can imagine, we rarely hear positive feedback from the fans (though I think this event has been viewed by most as a success). The key to our success in Las Vegas was a combination of our remarkable staff, support from all of our member schools and the hard work of the Orleans Arena staff.

Your thoughts are very much appreciated.

Sincerely,
Jamie

Russell Bevan
03-11-2009, 09:24 AM
I love having the event in Las Vegas. Even though I stayed at the far end of the strip it was easy to get to the Orleans. The facilities are a mixed bag. The gym was fine, but as mentioned the scorebaords are terrible, but that would be my only real complaint.

The best thing I can say about the Casino is that they sell five beers for $6.25, compared to $7 for one beer at the Bellagio. The rooms, restaurants and facilities are sub standard.

The Lady Zags out drew all of the mens games in the first two rounds.

Rumor has it the Orleans Gym may be closing because they lack the revenue needed to keep it open.

All the best,
Russell

Psychozag
03-11-2009, 11:07 AM
X2
The announcers were making snide comments to each other about their off hours activities. They also commented a few times about the Orleans being another Kennel, hats off to the fans for that. I'm really starting to like Lavin, and he likes the Zags. I've seen several of his games this year, and I think he has just the right amount of shtick, although I didn't care for the WD40 analogy with Bouldin.

He likes the Zags and Bouldin quite a bit it seems. On Monday around midnight I saw him walk to the front of a long line of really nicely dressed people waiting to get in to the Tryst (a high-end nightclub at the Wynn) and talk to the doorman. Then he motioned for a group of people to come with him and in that group was Matt and Grant. I know this is gossipy, but after watching the recording of the game and hearing him talk up Bouldin, it occurred to me his objectivity is probably out the window. I think Lavin has a big ego and he wants to be the guy that everybody knows and likes.

bigblahla
03-11-2009, 11:29 AM
The Orleans was a gas.

I started writing a thread last night after we got back about our adventures in Las Zagas and then realized it was the longest post I'd ever done and it hadn't covered more than the first 3 hours of being there and more than likely would get moved or deleted because I hadn't gotten to the basketball part and probably wouldn't for some time. I really wanted to do a daily report but got immersed in Las Zagas.

More, please more Las Zagas.:D

Go!! Zags!!!

LongIslandZagFan
03-11-2009, 12:35 PM
Loved it. Staying at the Orleans was perfect as it allowed easy access to the room before games and the convenience more than made up for the averageness of the rooms.

Das Zagger
03-11-2009, 12:45 PM
but as mentioned the scorebaords are terrible, but that would be my only real complaint.

I agree on that, I guess the individual player stats cycled through on the smaller scoreboards? I just wish there was one board that showed all active player stats. That's the only complaint I had of the venue.