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Archive for Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Vegas tourney has new home

KU will play twice at Orleans Arena

July 26, 2006

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The site of the Las Vegas Invitational, to be played over Thanksgiving weekend in Glitter City, has changed.

Kansas University's men's basketball team will meet Ball State on Nov. 24 and defending national champion Florida on Nov. 25 in Orleans Arena, located outside the hotel with the same name.

Orleans Arena, home of the Las Vegas Wranglers hockey team, seats 8,100. The Las Vegas Convention Center, the original site for the tourney, seats 3,000 to 4,000 for sporting events.

"It is a beautiful arena. If it was a 17,000-seat arena, I'd say it was the nicest I've seen," said Larry Keating, KU senior associate athletic director. "It was moved because the demand for tickets is higher than the Convention Center would handle and ESPN had some concerns about the quality of broadcast at the Convention Center."

All the seats at the Orleans Arena are theater-style seats. The NCAA used to not allow exempt tournaments to be held at the site of casinos. That no longer is the case, meaning the tourney can be held at the Orleans Arena.

"The hotel is free standing. There is a huge garage in between the arena and hotel. There are probably 8,000 parking spaces," Keating said.

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