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yoco :: College Basketball
(a sports weblog) news and commentary on men's college basketball and the ncaa tournament

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Monday, October 18, 2004

Nuts and bolts

of the NCAA Tournament:

The real road to this year's Final Four was mapped out by Short's travel agency in Waterloo. Short's agents got teams to where they needed to be for the National Collegiate Athletic Association's men's and women's basketball tournaments. That's in spite of obstacles such as an untimely death on board an airliner, a bomb threat in the Caribbean, and a mix-up about the arrival time of $2.5 million from the NCAA to pay for air travel.

Short's Travel Management - a family-owned, 130-employee agency - won a multiyear contract with the NCAA last year to make travel arrangements for all of the NCAA's championship tournaments, including the legendary March Madness of college basketball.

Sixty-five men's teams and 64 women's teams compete in about 25 cities. Eighty to 90 percent of the travel is by air. Travel parties average about 90 people, including team members, coaches, cheerleaders, mascots and pep band members.

Total number of travelers: About 12,000. Total travel spending: About $10 million.