People love to complain about Atlantic City.

Anytime a positive story is written about the gambling town, many locals love to dispel the stories with negativity.

While the city has its issues, name a city that doesn't.

New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Miami, LA, just about any city you travel to has issues.

More people, more problems.

However, all of the above listed cities have a ton of things to do and do have positive things about them.

Atlantic City is no different.

This past weekends Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, or MAAC, is one of those positive events and the locals aren't doing a good enough job supporting it.

Locals often complain about the city, but when they bring in good family oriented events, people rarely support it, and the MAAC Basketball Tournament is no exception.

Going to these games is not about having a rooting interest, its more about a night out with friends and family. You go to be in the building, Boardwalk Hall is one of the great venues on the east coast to watch a game. You go to see teams playing to achieve the goal of making the NCAA Tournament.

Boardwalk Hall offers a unique setting where every seat is close to the floor, they also do something I have really seen at any other high level game - high top table right on the floor. The finally upgraded the scoreboard in and have a better sound system for events.

Photo: Mike Gill
There is a new video scoreboard at Boardwalk Hall (Photo: Mike Gill)
Photo: Mike Gill
High Top Table courtside are a unique part of the MAAC (Photo: Mike Gill)

To watch these athletes leave it all out on the floor and the emotion when they finish the job is worth going to watch.

The games were highly competitive, seven of the 10 games were decided by six points or less.

I went to three games overall, two on Friday and the Championship game on Saturday.

While the crowds were okay, it was mostly fans whole came in to support the schools. Fairfield, Marist, Quinnipiac and St. Peter's all brought in a decent amount of fans for the weekend, but from what I saw, there was little local representation.

Photo: Mike Gill
Photo: Mike Gill

For the locals that came out got to see great basketball, competitive games and good family entertainment.  Seeing people flock the boardwalk wearing their favorite teams colors is one of the unique things about college sports.

The tournament has two more years left at Boardwalk Hall and if the attendance doesn't improve, another great event will likely leave the city like the Surf and Boardwalk Bullies did due to lack of support from the locals.

I do think the Tournament can do more to promote.

Go to Stockton and give students tickets and provide bus transportation from campus to Boardwalk Hall. Invite all the area high school teams, middle school teams, give tickets to local businesses.  The more fans in the building the better, the more fans the better the concessions will do.  I walked around the concourse level during the game and barely saw another person, let alone a line waiting for food or drinks.

One tip from the locals is to not buy tickets on Ticketmaster and go to the Box Office at Boardwalk Hall to eliminate the fees.

Photo: Mike Gill
Photo: Mike Gill

Atlantic City doesn't get a lot of things right, but the MAAC is something they should be applauded for, lets support it better next time so it doesn't leave like everyone else does.

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