MVC Women's Basketball Tournament tips off Thursday afternoon

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Moline, Ill. (KWQC) - The Missouri Valley Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament tips off Thursday afternoon and it’s bringing much more than just basketball action to the courts of the TaxSlayer Center in Moline. For the fourth year, the tournament has partnered with Visit Quad Cities to bring fun for the entire family to this event.

There is a theme for each day of the game, along with bingo games, a fan fun zone with interactive games, bounce houses and concession specials. Dave Herrell with Visit Quad Cities explains the value in having these events in our area, “What gets lost sometimes is the quality of life. We've got an environment and atmosphere that is very family-friendly and doing that in a live sporting event is very unique.” Each of the MVC schools has chosen a local hangout in downtown Moline. This will be a place for fans to gather and celebrate pre and post-game. They are all listed below. The tournament will also be partnering with the St. Patrick’s Day parade on Saturday to celebrate.

The tournament is affectionately known as “Hoops of Heartland” and the opportunity to host this event doesn’t only bring a fun event to our area, but it’s an economic boost. Herrell says, “It’s a huge privilege. Obviously, it’s got economic development benefits. It’s got tourism impact and branding implications.” Beyond this, it bodes well for the reputation of our area in other places across the country.

This is a chance for our area to unite and support women’s basketball. Herrell says we are a “can do community” and he hopes that we can show the MVC that we support and embrace them, “We want a lot of energy and excitement in the building!” Tickets can be purchased at the box office.

For more information, head here .

Designated local hangouts by schools participating…

Bradly - Green Tree Brewery at the TaxSlayer Center;
Drake - River House Bar & Grill (2nd floor);
Evansville - Johnny's Italian Steakhouse (banquet room);
Illinois State - Bad Boyz Pizza & Pub;
Indiana State - Barrel House;
Loyola - River House Bar & Grill (1st floor);
Missouri State - Bier Stube;
Northern Iowa - Backwater Jacks inside Stoney Creek Hotel;
Southern Illinois - TGI Friday's;
Valparaiso University - Bent River Brewing Company.