MILWAUKEE -- The final preparations are underway at Marquette University for the Big East Women's Basketball Tournament. This is the first time the institution will host the tournament.
Officials FOX6 News spoke with on Thursday, March 2nd said they've been preparing for this event since May of 2016. Major manpower and resources have been poured into what's expected to be an intense four days of basketball.
The seats were empty Thursday inside the Al McGuire Center -- but come Saturday, March 4th -- it'll be the start of March Madness.
Marquette University will be this year's center stage for the 2017 Big East Women's Basketball Tournament. Senior Associate Athletics Director, Sarah Bobert, said this will be an opportunity to highlight the home team.
"Our team has made tremendous strides over the last two to three years, and they've become very competitive, so to give them every advantage to win the Big East title was something that was very important to us," said Bobert.
Bobert said months of planning have been poured into the four-day tournament.
"This has been a work in progress since May, when we found out that we were hosting. There's a lot that goes into it in terms of ticket logistics, the facility logistics," Bobert said.
Associate Commissioner, Tracy Ellis-Ward, added that location was a major factor this year.
"Our rational was to bring more of the Big East brand to the Midwest, so we thought Milwaukee would be a great place to have it," said Ellis-Ward.
Ellis-Ward said she anticipates fans will be on the edge of their seats.
"It's going to be great basketball. Nothing is going to be taken for granted any given night. Just like last year, I think even more competitive this year," said Ellis-Ward.
Upgrades have been made to the court, including a new video board, LED scores table and tournament branding.
"The most important thing is this is a high level of women's basketball that people in Milwaukee aren't exposed to on any every day basis," said Bobert.
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