Even before 63,626 fans showed up five years ago at SDCCU Stadium for a midseason football game between Navy and Notre Dame, officials for Sports San Diego knew they were onto something.
“When we secured the Navy-Notre Dame football game here, we realized we could do a lot more for San Diego,” Sports San Diego CEO Mark Neville said.
The organization is best known for staging the annual DirecTV Holiday Bowl.
But why stop there? And why limit themselves to football?
Such questions led to this week’s inaugural Rady Children’s Invitational college basketball tournament, which is being hosted at UC San Diego’s LionTree Arena.
The two-day event begins Thursday, bringing together teams from the Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12 in an environment that could have the look and feel of an NCAA Regional.
Thanksgiving Day games feature Oklahoma (4-0) vs. Iowa (3-1) at noon and Seton Hall (4-0) vs. No. 23 USC (3-1) at 2:30 p.m.
The winning and losing teams will be matched against each other in Friday’s final and third-place games, which start at 12:30 p.m. and 3.
Holiday tournaments have grown increasingly popular over the years. But why allow events like the Maui Invitational, Las Vegas Invitational, Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu and Wooden Legacy in Fullerton to hog all the headlines?
Why not fill restaurants and hotel rooms here?
“Sports San Diego’s purpose is to drive tourism through sports,” Neville said. “We looked at the Thanksgiving holiday as a need period for San Diego tourism. It’s the time of year for these early-season tournaments, so we were filling a void.”
The 2024 field already has been announced, featuring Arkansas, BYU, Purdue and … Notre Dame.
The Fighting Irish figured prominently once again for Sports San Diego officials.
It is a packaging coup, of sorts, given that the Notre Dame football team will be in Southern California that weekend to play USC at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
“We want to build this thing to be one of the best in the country, that’s sought after by the best programs in the country,” Neville said. “It’s going to be special.”
Rady Children’s Invitational
What: College basketball tournament at UC San Diego’s LionTree Arena
Oklahoma vs. Iowa, noon
Seton Hall vs. USC, 2:30 p.m.
Oklahoma vs. Seton Hall or USC, 12:30 p.m.
Iowa vs. Seton Hall or USC, 3 p.m.
TV: Thursday on Fox Sports 1, Friday on FOX.
Ticket info: Prices start at $35 for each day or $60 for a two-day pass. Information is available at radychildrensinvitational.com
Parking: Free parking is available in the Hopkins Parking Structure, which is directly south of LionTree Arena.
Fan Zone: Two food trucks and a beer garden, along with activities and a merchandise booth, will be open to fans with game tickets beginning 90 minutes before tipoff.
The WEBFI algorithm actively curates and presents current news from the Internet, delivering it in both written and video formats on our platform. Unlike many other news sources, WEBFI Network - News Balance Security is committed to a user-friendly experience. We refrain from displaying advertising within our content, avoid any redirects to external sites, and meticulously filter out any graphic content deemed unsafe, sensitive, or private. Our primary goal is to provide visitors with a distraction-free and secure environment, ensuring they receive the news they seek.
Importantly, WEBFI Network does not collect any personal information from our visitors, and we do not engage in newsletter subscriptions. We take pride in remaining entirely advertiser-free, thanks to the support of our contributors and our dedicated hosting service partners. It's crucial to note that the opinions and content presented on our platform do not necessarily align with WEBFI NETWORK's opinion, philosophy, or vision. We strongly uphold the principle of freedom of speech, welcoming a diverse range of perspectives and ideas.
🌐 Discover News Balance 🇺🇲 - Your Round-the-Clock Source for Unbiased News!
Experience a continuous stream of comprehensive, unbiased news coverage 24/7/365 with News Balance 🇺🇲. Our carefully curated playlist ⏯ delivers a harmonious blend of national and global politics, cutting-edge tech updates, weather forecasts, noteworthy events, and captivating entertainment news.
The best part? No subscriptions, registrations, or downloads required. Enjoy an ad-free news experience with News Balance 🇺🇲.
"Introducing Unstoppable Private WebFi Websites – Your Forever Digital Haven.
Experience a lifetime of ownership with WebFi – where your digital presence is a lifelong investment. Embark on your journey to own a private website for life.
Our private servers set the gold standard in security and performance, ensuring your website stays in top form. With our lifetime license, the days of fretting about hosting renewals are behind you.
Unlock your very own WebFi space granting you a perpetual haven for your projects, free from the burden of recurring payments. Your sole financial commitment? Domain annuities to your domain provider – nothing more!
Choose WebFi and own your digital future, secure, simple, and everlasting."LEARN MORE