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Charleston officials lament end of Capital Classic

Charleston Gazette-Mail photo by Christian Tyler Randolph WVU’s Tarik Phillips falls into the Marshall Thundering Herd bench during last month’s Capital Classic at the Charleston Civic Center. Civic Center officials and local business owners say the cancellation of the annual series will cost them dearly.
Charleston Gazette-Mail photo by Christian Tyler Randolph
WVU’s Tarik Phillips falls into the Marshall Thundering Herd bench during last month’s Capital Classic at the Charleston Civic Center. Civic Center officials and local business owners say the cancellation of the annual series will cost them dearly.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — With the demise of the Capital Classic basketball game for the immediate future, and perhaps longer, Charleston-area officials are worried about the economic blow the cancellation could have on the city.

The annual men’s basketball game between Marshall and West Virginia universities has consistently brought in crowds of 10,000 to 12,000 fans to the Charleston Civic Center, which has hosted the game since 1992.

Civic Center General Manager John Robertson said the game has been a significant event for the community for more than two decades.

Robertson said about $170,000 will be lost to the Civic Center annually if the games aren’t reinstated.

“The food and beverage [revenue] on that game are somewhere around $140,000,” Robertson said. The rental fees and other expenses the schools paid to play there are around $35,000, he added. The schools split the ticket sales 50/50.

Attendance numbers for the last three years have faltered slightly after the schools began scheduling the game in mid-December instead of late January, when state Legislature is in session…

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