"I'd really say this is a red-letter day for Iowa State University. We are very pleased to partner with Des Moines, the Polk County Board of Supervisors, the Des Moines Convention and Visitor's Bureau, Clear Channel, Mediacom, and ESPN to bring the Cyclone Capital Classic Tournament to the new Wells Fargo Arena and Iowa Events Center. This is really a win-win-win-win for all of us.
"Des Moines is very important to Iowa State. More than 7,000 of our current students come from the nine-county area here in central Iowa. We have more than 35,000 alumni living in this area, and of course thousands more Cyclone fans. And we have a large number of community, education, and business partnerships in the Greater Des Moines area.
"We are very proud of our men's and women's basketball programs. They had tremendously exciting seasons this past year, and great overall success this past decade. They have a very strong fan base, and are consistently one of the leaders in the Big 12 and nation in home attendance. We're always looking for more opportunities to let more Cyclone fans watch the Cyclones play, and the Cyclone Capital Classic gives us just that – a great doubleheader featuring both our men's and women's teams starting next December."
ESPN Regional Television's Pete Derzis on scheduling of teams for upcoming tournaments:
"We'd like to bring in national opponents, high-profile opponents for both the men and women's games. It's just a function of scheduling and finding the right date and trying to work out all of the different arrangements. It's something we do across the country with a variety of events similar to what has been proposed here. We're optimistic that we will be able to bring in high quality teams for this event."
Derzis on ESPN's interest:
"We have a business relationship, so we're obviously involved in the day-to-day operational side of watching the Cyclones. We're been a producer and distributor of the Cyclone Network for 10 years now, so we understand the tremendous fan base and the tremendous emotion that the Iowa State fans have for their program. It was really an extension of all of that that has made this a reality. When the new facility finally broke ground, we were very in tune with the opportunity of expanding Iowa State's presence from Ames into Des Moines. It's something we've been very keen on for some time."
Bill Fennelly on advantages of his team being a part of this event:
"Anytime you can expose your student-athletes and other people see you, it's a great opportunity. In women's college basketball, we're all trying to get on television more. The great programs across the country that you recruit against, that's the number one question that comes up a lot – how many times are you on TV? For us to be showcased by Mediacom and ESPN in a wonderful venue speaks a lot about the commitment by our administration.
"What happened in the NIT has already impacted our recruiting. A couple of people that saw us play on television probably would have never seen us play. It's had a dramatic impact on our program."
Wayne Morgan on impact of tournament on his program:
"I think this event will have a tremendous impact on our program, from the point of view of being seen nationally on ESPN on an event that will probably be featured and advertised nationally. It will garner the attention of every junior college, high school, college coach or afficianado of the game of basketball across the country. It also gives our kids an opportunity to come down here and play in this new arena against top opponents. It's a win-win situation for everybody."
Bruce Van De Velde on department's idea to put together tournament:
"The idea really originated through our multimedia marketing rights negotiations with ESPN and Clear Channel three or four years ago when we bundled all of our marketing and television radio rights and out-sourced them.
"Out of that we were looking for ways we could enhance our revenue streams and exposure, and also become an intregal part of central Iowa and the capital city of Des Moines. We knew we had tens of thousands of alumni across the state, and Des Moines was important to the University and intercollegiate athletics at Iowa State. Out of that negotiation grew the idea of a basketball event here. We really started thinking about it before the Events Center came on board. That just also increased our interest.
"We always had thought about it being a doubleheader, because we're so proud of both of our women's and men's programs. The NIT thing was something that this staff and athletic department came up with that idea, it just kind of took off, and now has carried over into this kind of event. It gives us a lot of momentum."