RENO, NV - The crowd was sparse at the Reno Events Center this morning watching the Rio Grande Valley Vipers battle the Los Angeles D-Fenders.
In fact, most of those in the stands, weren't fans. They were scouts and other officials from the NBA.
Monday kicked off the annual NBA D-League's Showcase, a chance for players and coaches of the league's 16 teams to show their talents to the decision makers of the big league.
The event is open to the public, but isn't expected to draw big crowds. Even the hometown Reno Bighorns often play to a largely empty house.
But basketball fans will be watching all over the country. Two games and the slam dunk and three-point shooting competition will be broadcast by the CBS Sports Network. All 16 games will be carried on NBA-TV.
And all that exposure adds up to a plus for the folks promoting our area as a destination.
"The fact that major sporting events are now being held here says good things," says Christopher Baum, the CEO of the Reno Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority, "and if its subtle or subliminal it all adds up to more emphasis and more awareness of our destination."
This is the second year in a row the showcase has been held in Reno.