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2013 CBI Tournament: George Mason to Host Finals Twice, Once in Smallest Gym Ever

A College Fair is keeping the Patriots out of their normal home for the CBI Finals. Where will the Patriots play? The RAC, of course!

George Mason Athletics

Its been documented on how much a money-suck the CBI can be for basketball programs. In the past, the CBI has had teams in its finals who either have tremendous basketball resources or are major programs. Teams like Oregon, Pittsburgh, Creighton, VCU, Oregon State, and Saint Louis have all found their way to the championship round. This year, the final will be a little different with two mid-majors: George Mason and Santa Clara.

The CBI always ends in a best-of-three series and the schedule for this year's series was released yesterday. Everything looked in order until you noticed the location of Game 2, The RAC.

What is The RAC, you may ask? The RAC is George Mason's practice facility, volleyball arena, and campus pick up hoops haven. The venue holds 1,550 fans and features a interesting paint scheme for basketball to say the least.

Will this be kind of cool to see a college game in such a venue or just kind of embarrassing for the Atlantic 10's newest member and the CBI? Oh yeah, we forgot to mention the reason why the 10,000 seat Patriot Center is not available. George Mason will be hosting the Northern Virginia Regional College Fair.

So why does all this matter, besides being an interesting side story? Well, this certainly plays a role:

The CBI has a minimum ticket guarantee, the amount a school pays to host a game: The guarantees are $35,000 for first-round games, $50,000 for the quarterfinals and $75,000 per game for the semifinals and the best-of-three finals. via Pittsburgh Tribune

George Mason didn't host a first round game but has hosted the quarter and semifinals, which means their current tab is at $125,000 and is guaranteed to at least be $200,000 at this point. Mason has only attracted 3,728 attendees combined for their first two home CBI games. Even if we assume the average ticket price is $20, the Patriots still haven't broke the $75,000 barrier in ticket sales.

With the CBI bill racking up and the Patriots set to pay a $1 million exit fee to the CAA, March has become quite an expensive month.

CBI Finals Schedule:
April 1: George Mason at Santa Clara, 10 PM EST
April 3: Santa Clara at George Mason (THE RAC), 7 PM EST

April 5: Santa Clara at George Mason (Patriot Center), 7 PM EST, If Necessary

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