When winning basketball teams advance in the NCAA March Madness tournament, the teams’ athletic merchandise travels cross country, too.
UD Arena volunteers at the March Madness apparel table make sure as many fans as possible leave the games with NCAA gear. Such volunteers throughout the First Four make the event possible.
“Shirts sell out fast at the beginning of the game,” merchandise volunteer Tracy Johnson said. “In the past five minutes, three stacks of shirts have disappeared.”
A West Carrollton resident, Johnson has volunteered at UD Arena for the NCAA First Four games for around nine years. She has some experience since she used to help sell athletic apparel for her son’s baseball team.
“All teams in the tournament get shirts,” Johnson said. “We also sell UD shirts, which always sell out.”
On Tuesday, March 14, the volunteers started with roughly 10,000 shirts, and by the end of the night had about 4,000 remaining.
“By the end of the night people will buy shirts of teams they haven’t even heard of, just to have some souvenir from the tournament,” Johnson said.
Last night, the volunteers sold March Madness beach towels for the first time — on a night when the wind chill dipped to 7.
“I saw one guy walking out of here last night wrapping it around his bare legs,” said another volunteer. “He was wearing shorts.”