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MAAC Basketball FanFest Returns To Albany

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The Sports Foundation of the Capital Region, the Albany County Convention and Visitors Bureau, and I LOVE NY today announced additional details of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Basketball Tournament FanFest. The event will take place on South Pearl Street on Saturday, March 7 from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 8 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission is free.

The MAAC FanFest, sponsored by Dunkin’ Donuts and Mazzone Hospitality, will add another element of excitement to the popular basketball tournament featuring Canisius, Fairfield, Iona, Manhattan, Marist, Monmouth, Niagara, Quinnipiac, Rider, St. Peter’s, and hometown favorite, Siena College. Additional funding to host and promote the MAAC Basketball Tournament was provided from Empire State Development/ I LOVE NY, which was awarded through the Capital Region Economic Development Council.

“We’re thrilled to bring the on-court action outside by providing additional entertainment options for basketball fans at the MAAC Tournament,” said MAAC Commissioner Richard Ensor. “We look forward to presenting our fans with a memorable tournament atmosphere during the culmination of another memorable MAAC basketball season.”

“Downtown Albany is proud to host the MAAC Tournament and the MAAC FanFest,” said Michele Vennard, President and CEO of the Albany County Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Basketball fans will enjoy every moment of the action beginning on South Pearl Street with the FanFest and continuing inside the Times Union Center for games throughout the tournament.”

FanFest to offer fun activities for tournament attendees of all ages

The MAAC FanFest will invite fans to celebrate their favorite teams under a heated tent on South Pearl Street throughout tournament weekend. The FanFest will feature live music from the MAAC BandJam featuring MAAC pep bands, as well as acoustic guitarists Joe Baia on Saturday and James Rissacher on Sunday. A live DJ will also provide music throughout the weekend.

Fans will be invited to enjoy food and a number of activities, including video and carnival games, inflatable basketball hoops, Kan Jam and the Siena College pop-a shot game. A selfie photo station will provide the opportunity for fans to capture a commemorative image of themselves inside a special oversized frame featuring their favorite team’s logo.

Family-friendly activities will include a bounce house, balloon artist and juggler. Fans of all ages will also be able to show their team pride by having school colors or logos painted by a professional face painter.

Dunkin’ Donuts Bounce to the Arena

The MAAC FanFest will launch with the Dunkin’ Donuts Bounce to the Arena event, during which as many as 250 children from the Albany Police Athletic League (PAL) will dribble basketballs from the nearby Palace Theatre to the Times Union Center on Saturday beginning at 11 a.m.

The kids are expected to arrive at the Times Union Center at 11:30 a.m. and will be invited to attend Saturday’s games as a result of support from Dunkin’ Donuts.

“Dunkin’ Donuts is thrilled to partner with the MAAC to provide the opportunity for as many as 250 kids from Albany PAL to see true sportsmanship on the court on Saturday,” said Eric Stensland, field marketing manager for Dunkin’ Donuts. “We are excited to take part in an event which MAAC basketball fans have anticipated all season.”

The MAAC FanFest will also feature the Dunkin’ Donuts prize wheel, which provides fans an opportunity to win prizes including Dunkin’ Donuts Dark Roast T-shirts, pounds of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, and Dunkin’ Donuts coupons, hats, flashlights, and more.

Angelo’s 677 Prime to offer special menu for MAAC Tournament games

Located just blocks from the Times Union Center, Mazzone Hospitality restaurant Angelo’s 677 Prime will offer basketball fans a special menu in conjunction with the MAAC Tournament from Thursday, March 5 through Saturday, March 7 and on Monday, March 9.

Fans who present a ticket to a MAAC Tournament game on the participating dates will have the opportunity to enjoy a pre-game, three-course meal for the prix-fixe cost of $45 (tax and gratuity not included).

“All of us at Mazzone Hospitality are excited for the return of the MAAC Tournament and the MAAC FanFest to downtown Albany,” said Mazzone Hospitality Owner Angelo Mazzone. “We look forward to welcoming basketball fans to enjoy a delicious and convenient meal at Angelo’s 677 Prime either before or after they cheer on their favorite team.”

The MAAC Tournament prix-fixe menu will begin with a choice of Arugula and Radicchio Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette or Smoked Seafood Chowder; followed by an entrée choice of Grilled BBQ Salmon, Cavatelli Pasta with Lamb, or Bourguignon Style Braised Short Rib; and dessert will include Mediterranean Quinoa and Yogurt Parfait or Chocolate Layer Cake.

Angelo’s 677 Prime is located at 677 Broadway in Albany, NY. For reservations, call (518) 427-7463 or visit www.mazzonehospitality.com.

Additional fan festivals and tickets

The MAAC FanFest is the first of two fan festivals scheduled to take place in March outside the Times Union Center. A second fan festival will occur when the arena hosts the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball East Regional on Saturday, March 28. The free event will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Tickets to the 2015 MAAC Basketball Championships are available at the All Star Wine & Spirits Box Office at the Times Union Center, online at www.ticketmaster.com, at select Ticketmaster outlets, or charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000.

This project is supported by a grant awarded to the Albany County Convention and Visitors Bureau by New York State’s Empire State Development and the I ♥ NY Division of Tourism under Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council Initiative.

For more information on the MAAC FanFest, visit www.maacfanzone.com/fanfest.

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