Lone Star Conference Tournaments Coming to Allen

By Randy McIlwain
|  Wednesday, Feb 23, 2011  |  Updated 9:45 PM CDT
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The four big cities in <a title=Collin County are finding new ways to bring in new dollars." />

Randy McIlwain

The four big cities in Collin County are finding new ways to bring in new dollars.

Allen is carving out an identity as an entertainment destination.

City leaders announced Wednesday that the NCAA Division II Lone Star Conference will play its men's and women's basketball tournaments at the Allen Event Center for three years beginning next year.

The weeklong tournament could have an annual economic impact of $2 million.

“Being built around these retail stores and restaurants and with the hotels in close proximity, we really feel like this is an ideal destination for a college basketball tournament,” said Stan Wagnon, LSC commissioner.

City leaders have been marketing the events center and the restaurants and stores to people attending tournaments or weekend getaways.

"They can park their car and, in three days, they don't have to go anywhere," said Karen Cromwell, director of the Allen Convention & Visitors Bureau. "They've gotten everything they need right here."

Next week, the Allen Wranglers, an indoor professional football team, will debut at the event center. The city's hockey team, the Allen Americans, is headed to the playoffs for the second time in as many years.

The seats shared by sports fans are filled up on other nights by fans attending events such as Disney on Ice, a Little Wayne concert and a rodeo. City leaders say each event helps promote the other.

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