Oakland Convention & Visitors Bureau Announces March Madness Will Reign at Oakland Arena

OAKLAND, Calif., March 2 /PRNewswire/ — The Oakland Convention & Visitors Bureau announces the arrival of March Madness in Oakland. On March 23 & 25, 2006, the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Regional Finals will be held at the Oakland Arena, 7000 Coliseum Way in Oakland. Local fans can get a sneak preview of the highly-anticipated contests by attending free practice sessions on Wednesday, March 22nd.

“We are thrilled for Oakland to serve as the host city for the NCAA Regional Finals,” said Manette Belliveau, Executive Director of the Oakland Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Basketball fans and reporters will give the local economy a boost as they pack Oakland’s hotels, restaurants and local attractions during this exciting event. Millions of people worldwide will see Oakland in media reports.”

Tickets to the “Sweet Sixteen” Regional Finals are sold out through the NCAA, but the practice sessions are free and open to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis. The Oakland Convention & Visitors Bureau invites local residents and basketball fans to visit the Oakland Arena, Wednesday, March 22nd, for the four practice sessions which will be held every hour on the hour from 12 noon – 5 p.m.

“The practice sessions are a great opportunity for local youth league and high school coaches to share the excitement of the Sweet Sixteen with their players,” says Belliveau.

The Oakland Convention & Visitors Bureau teamed with the NCAA, SMG, the Oakland Arena’s management company, and the University of San Francisco to bring this athletic headliner event to Oakland. Other key partners included the City of Oakland, the County of Alameda, the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, and the host hotel, the Marriott City Center. For more information and future updates, call 510-839-9000 or visit www.oaklandcvb.com.

The mission of the Oakland Convention & Visitors Bureau is to market the City of Oakland as a preferred destination for meetings, conventions, trade shows and leisure travel, to increase travel expenditures, and to further strengthen the local economy.

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