Fourth “Clash at the Colosseum” basketball showcase a success
The fourth annual Clash at the Colosseum took place this Wednesday at Caesars Colosseum.
The University of Windsor men and women’s basketball teams played against the Laurier Golden Hawks and the Windsor Express played against the Kitchener-Waterloo Titans at Caesars Colosseum in front of an estimated crowd of 2,300 people.
In partnership with Ontario University Athletics and the National Basketball League of Canada, the event had people young and old enjoy three basketball games from the afternoon to the evening.
Windsor Express Corporate Partnerships and Sales Executive Dylan Cullis says the event is huge for basketball, not only in Windsor, but in Canada as well.
“Basketball wise, I think it’s great for the city to get more exposure for the sport,” said Cullis. “It’s still a sport growing in Canada and we’re trying to do our part to really grow that locally, across Ontario and the country.”
For the Windsor Express, this type of event brings more than just publicity to the sport. It also brings an in-depth look at the National Basketball League of Canada. NBLC Commissioner David Magley was in attendance for all three games. A frequent guest at the event, Magley says the event is not only for Windsor basketball and the Caesars Windsor hotel. He views it as a huge exposure event for the National Basketball League of Canada.
“I think it’s a great exposure event,” said Magley. “Part of the biggest issues we have as a league is people recognizing how great the product is. When you’re able to play in a venue like this and there are people coming from the U.S. to gamble at the casino and watch a game, or fans who wouldn’t typically go out to the WFCU Centre to see it, it’s a great exposure for our league.”
Going on its fourth year, the Colosseum games have been an annual event since 2013. Windsor Express CEO Dartis Willis says the concept originally started with the Windsor Express looking for a new central location to play their home games.
“When we started the team, when I first came to town, we had to look at places that we could play,” said Willis. “We knew we wanted to be downtown, so we looked at all the places in the downtown area to play. We looked at the barn, we looked at the casino. We knew there were spaces that would fit a court and so we decided that ‘let’s go see if it would fit in a casino.’”
The night ended with all of Windsor’s teams coming out victorious in their games, and a half court buzzer beater from Windsor Lancer guard Mike Rocca against the Laurier Golden Hawks.
The Windsor Express play their next home game on Sunday February 12 at 2:00 PM at the WFCU Centre vs. the Kitchener-Waterloo Titans.