Men's Basketball

    The Hartford Hall of Fame Showcase to Open Lucas Oil Stadium for Basketball

    Go Hoosiers! The Hoosiers will play Gonzaga at Lucas Oil Stadium on Dec. 6.
    Go Hoosiers!
    The Hoosiers will play Gonzaga at Lucas Oil Stadium on Dec. 6.
    Go Hoosiers!

    Sept. 5, 2008

    INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Four of the nation's premier teams will headline The Hartford Hall of Fame Showcase as the first basketball event to be played in the new Lucas Oil Stadium on Dec. 6, 2008 in Indianapolis. New Indiana head coach Tom Crean will lead his Hoosiers against preseason top-10 favorite Gonzaga in the 1:30 p.m. opener followed by Big East-power Notre Dame versus 2007 NCAA runner-up Ohio State at 4 p.m. The event, which is owned and managed by BEST, is in its third year and serves as an annual fundraiser for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.

    "What a terrific doubleheader to open Lucas Oil Field to basketball," said Crean. "This event brings together the best the sport has to offer - four nationally recognized programs, Hall of Fame legends and the new dome - all to benefit the Basketball Hall of Fame. We are thrilled that The Hartford and the Hall of Fame have chosen our great state to host what will be college basketball's best event this season."

    Lucas Oil Stadium, which just opened last month, is home to the NFL's Indianapolis Colts and will serve as the host of the 2010 NCAA Final Four and Super Bowl XLVI in 2012. The basketball configuration for The Hartford Hall of Fame Showcase will accommodate approximately 40,000 fans. Seating will be arranged in typical Final Four style with fan bases in each quadrant. Both games of the doubleheader are expected to be televised nationally.

    "We are ecstatic to host The Hartford Hall of Fame Showcase as the inaugural basketball game in Lucas Oil Stadium," said Mike Fox, Stadium Director at Lucas Oil Stadium. "The participating teams, with all of their Indiana ties, are sure to be of great interest to many basketball fans throughout the state. The Hartford Hall of Fame Showcase, on the weekend traditionally known as the true beginning of the college basketball season, is a fitting start to a hopefully long tradition of exciting college basketball in Lucas Oil Stadium. We are also hopeful to see one or more of the participating teams back at Lucas Oil Stadium for the NCAA Men's Regional next March."

     

     

    This will be the event's first trip to a domed stadium. The event was launched at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix in Dec. 2006 and visited Boston's TD Banknorth Garden last year. The doubleheader serves as a mobile "bowl-like" event for college hoops, featuring four college basketball programs while building the brand and image of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, a non-profit institution that recognizes excellence at all levels of the game. The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: HIG), partnered last year to become title sponsor of the event.

    "For nearly two centuries, The Hartford has operated its business by integrating the values of leadership, vision and integrity in all that it does," said Connie Weaver, senior vice president of Marketing and Communications for The Hartford. "We are honored to see The Hartford's name along side the Naismith Hall of Fame and the NCAA, organizations that share in our winning values."

    As a companion to the games, The Hartford Hall of Fame Showcase also features a rich schedule of community outreach programs and a youth clinic. It tips off its Indianapolis impact with a corporate golf event on Oct. 6, 2008 at The Brickyard. More than a dozen enshrined members of the Basketball Hall of Fame are expected to participate on the famed course that includes four holes inside the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Last year, the Greater Boston Convention and Visitor's Bureau estimated the event's effect on its local economy to reach nearly $10 million.

    "Most people know I am a huge basketball fan, so having an event like this in Indianapolis is a personal joy for me and great for our City," said Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard.

    Tickets are priced from $250 courtside to $15 in upper sections. Public sale of tickets for The Hartford Hall of Fame Showcase begins at noon on Monday, Sept. 8, at the Lucas Oil Stadium box office, all Ticketmaster locations, Ticketmaster.com, or by calling 317.239.5151. Each school has been granted an allotment of tickets to sell to its respective fans, students and alumni. For corporate and group packages, please contact BEST Collegiate at 859.264.8020. Complete event information can be found on www.hoophall.com or www.experienceBEST.com.

    About The Hartford
    The Hartford, a Fortune 100 company, is one of the nation's largest diversified financial services companies, with 2007 revenues of $25.9 billion. The Hartford is a leading provider of investment products, life insurance and group benefits; automobile and homeowners products; and business property and casualty insurance. International operations are located in Japan, the United Kingdom, Canada, Brazil and Ireland. The Hartford's Internet address is www.thehartford.com.

    About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
    Located in Springfield, Mass., the city where basketball was born, the not-for-profit Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the game of basketball at all levels via its Springfield-based museum and numerous special events and outreach programs worldwide. The 18-acre Hall of Fame complex on the banks of the Connecticut River includes the state-of-the-art Hall of Fame museum, restaurants, retail shops and a hotel. Construction is currently underway to open an LA Fitness center, health and wellness office space and a new restaurant in 2008. For more information on the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, please visit our website at www.hoophall.com or call 1-877-4-HOOPLA.

    About BEST
    BEST is a unified full-service sports and entertainment company. Current clients include musicians Janet Jackson, Ciara and Chamillionaire, Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush, NFL Pro Bowlers DeAngelo Hall and Will Smith, NBA All-Stars Rasheed Wallace and Shawn Marion, Australian, French and US Open Champion Justine Henin, US Open Champion Andy Roddick, MMA stars Fedor Emelianenko and Houston Alexander, Indiana basketball coach Tom Crean, Louisville football coach Steve Kragthorpe and Ole Miss basketball coach Andy Kennedy. Media & Event properties include the US Open Tennis Championship, the French Open Tennis Championship, the Legg Mason Tennis Classic, numerous US-based ATP tournaments, Rock 'n Racquets, Hoop It Up, Let It Fly, Kick It, the Boston Marathon, the Superstars Competition, the AVP Beach Volleyball tour, Ice Wars, the World Cup of Softball, and the Men's and Women's Fifth Third Bank Tennis Championships. www.experienceBEST.com.

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