Attendance dips on Day 3 at Christmas Tournament

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The third day of the Southeast Missourian Christmas Tournament at the Show Me Center attracted 5,457 people, the smallest crowd of the tournament so far and the smallest crowd for Day 3 since 2002, when that same number showed up.

That was also on a Monday, as 2002 was the last time the tourney started on a Thursday.

One of the largest schools in the tourney, Cape Central, had a 3:30 p.m. start time Monday, as opposed to playing in one of the semifinal games last year.

And this year's winners bracket had gone according to seed, with little suspense in top-seeded Scott County Central's march to the championship.

Last year's third-day action drew 6,225 and the two previous Day 3 crowds for 2005 and 2006 each topped 6,500.

The Day 3 schedule features six semifinal games in three brackets, down from the eight games played on the first two days.

Attendance so far this tourney is 17,257.

The event has topped 22,000 fans each year since 2003 with a record high of 27,241 in 2005.

-- Toby Carrig

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