Anonymous donor pays for Final Four student packages

By Daniel C. Houston
Staff Writer

More students have submitted requests for travel packages to the NCAA women’s Final Four in Denver than the university will likely be able to accommodate, but students who register by noon today will still be eligible to receive a package.

University administrators are still working to obtcain tickets to the basketball games — which include the Lady Bears’ match-up against Stanford, the Connecticut-Notre Dame game and the national championship — and are hopeful they can offer more than 100 packages free of charge to students. The packages also cover hotel costs and the bus trip to and from Denver.

Buses will leave for Denver Saturday afternoon and return Monday in the event of a Baylor loss to Stanford, or Tuesday after the national championship in the event the Lady Bears reach the championship game.

The university will give priority to students who have attended the most Lady Bears home games throughout the course of the season, Matt Burchett, director of Student Activities, said.

He said students will be able to register for tickets at the Bill Daniel Student Center (SUB) ticket office between 8 a.m. and noon today.

John Garrison, associate athletics director for marketing, said the university is still working to figure out exactly what the all-expenses-paid packages will cost as it continues to seek additional tickets.

Nick Joos, executive associate athletics director for external affairs, said an anonymous donor is purchasing the packages so they can be provided without charge to students. Joos estimated each package would cost between $300 and $400.

Joos said the athletics department is hopeful the additional support will help the Lady Bears bring home a national championship.

“It’s 100 of their most passionate fans in the stands supporting the team, and we’re grateful that [the donor] came forward and provided that,” Joos said. “I think the more our players [can] feed off the fans … it can give you a decided advantage in a close game, and I know our ladies appreciate the support they get in the Ferrell Center. It will give them a lift.”

Carlee Johnston, spirit and traditions coordinator, said 184 students had registered for the packages by 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.