NIKE Partners with GARED for Largest Single-Venue Basketball Tournament in History.
NIKE CHICAGO EVENT SURGES TO 450 TEAMS NIT set to become largest single-venue basketball tournament in history CHICAGO - For the first time in its storied 15 year history, NIKE's flagship girls' basketball tournament in Chicago will surpass 450 competing teams - and could reach as many as 500 elite squads by June 25. The annual powerhouse girls' showcase - already considered the most prestigious and competitive club basketball tournament in the world - is scheduled for July 10-12, 2014 at McCormick Place. The 2014 National Invitational Tournament will easily eclipse its own record of 360 teams, which it established last season in its first appearance downtown. The surge in participation was made possible by several factors, including overwhelming demand to compete in the event combined with a significant expansion of nearly a million square feet in McCormick's South Hall. To accommodate the historic proportions of the three day tournament, corporate partners Connor Sport Court International and Indianapolis-based Gared Sports (a Gared Holdings, LLC company) provided an additional 300,000 sq. ft. of newly developed Maple Select flooring and "Space Jam" portable standards in order to create a sprawling complex of 50 regulation sized courts and hoops entirely within South Hall. The event will cover the equivalent of nearly two city blocks under a single roof. The tournament will host almost 7,000 competing athletes and coaches at one time -clearly a watershed moment in girls' basketball history and a continuation in the stunning evolution of an event that began with just 24 teams in Des Plaines, IL in July of 1999. Participants, which include hundreds of the top NCAA Division I prospects in North America, come from all over the continent including 46 States and every Canadian province. The event, which will now attract more than 20,000 participants and fans combined, makes a dramatic economic impact on the city: attendees will consume more than 8,000 room nights at five of Chicago's premier downtown hotels: the Hyatt Regency at McCormick Place; the Hyatt Regency Chicago on Wacker Drive; the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza atop the Chicago Sun-Times building; the Hilton Chicago on Michigan Avenue; and the historic Palmer House Hilto n. Each hotel features shuttle service to the convention center, which will see an astonishing total of 1,120 games played in a roughly 60 hour period. The tournament has been certified by the NCAA and expects to surpass its own collegiate attendance mark of 588 coaches (all NCAA divisions, NAIA, and NJCAA combined), again established in 2013. The layout within McCormick Place allows coaches to view more than 450 games in a single day without leaving the venue. Tickets are $10 per day for adults and $5 per day for children and seniors. Schedules will be posted on July 7 at www.niketournamentofchampions.com. About GARED Incorporated in 1922, GARED has become the sporting goods industry's leader in innovative product design, precision engineering and premium manufacturing. A lot has changed in 80 years. The games have evolved - they're faster and more intense. As the game has evolved, GARED has been right there stepping up to the challenge. We are constantly improving, making sports equipment stronger, more responsive, and dedicated to building on the past while shaping the future of the sports that we serve. Chances are, you have already seen or experienced the quality of GARED. Our sports equipment can be found in a variety of venues. We're in pro arenas and universities across the country; in school yards and parks in your home town; in high school gymnasiums; in big cities and small towns; and in the driveways and home courts of people who recognize the value of reliability - in product quality. GARED is a supporting member of prominent organizations within the sports industry. Our product line meets the safety guidelines of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPS). We are continually striving to lower our carbon footprint through sustainable design and recycling of raw materials. Our centrally located warehouse is in Noblesville, Indiana - allowing for shorter lead times and more economical shipping costs. Don't stand on the sidelines - Get in the Game with GARED! WWW.GAREDSPORTS.COM