Downtown Starkville prepares for NCAA Tournament

Greater Starkville Development Partnership CEO and President Scott Maynard holds one of the banners that are now hanging on light poles along Main Street. (Submitted photo)
Staff Writer

Banners can be seen hanging in downtown Starkville to welcome the thousands of basketball fans who are traveling to the city for the first round of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament this weekend.

Mississippi State will also host the first round of the NCAA Women’s Tournament on Saturday when the Nicholls State Colonels, Oklahoma State Cowgirls and Syracuse Orange come to town. The Cowgirls and Orange take the court for a 2:30 p.m. matchup, then the Bulldogs play the Southland Conference champion Colonels at 5 p.m.

In preparation for the tournament, Greater Starkville Development Partnership CEO and President Scott Maynard said new NCAA banners were hung on the light poles by the electric department downtown, and Partnership staff hung “Mississippi’s College Town” banners on Main Street and on Highway 12.

Maynard said the Partnership already owned the Mississippi College Townbanners and hangs them up on big game weekends and for other special events.

Along with the banners, Maynard said the Partnership set up welcome tables at all the hotels in Starkville with information about the city.

“It’s a great thing to have on Spring Break week when town is usually empty,” Maynard said. “We had the game Wednesday night and then all the games this weekend between basketball, baseball and tennis. That’s three great things going on this weekend.”

Maynard said the basketball games were sold out, which is roughly 10,000 people, and he expects a big crowd for the first SEC series in baseball against Vanderbilt, especially with fans wanting to see the new Dudy Noble Field.

Maynard said the Partnership will also give the announcers of the NCAA Tournament baskets filled with goods from Starkville to welcome them and allow them to have a taste of Starkville.