Popular fan festival celebrates return of MAAC Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships to downtown Albany, March 1-5

Tickets to Hannaford MAAC-n-Cheese Fest now on sale; first 200 to purchase in advance receive free ticket to Siena men’s opening round MAAC tournament game

ALBANY, NY; – The Capital Region will celebrate the return of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships to downtown Albany with the third annual Hannaford MAAC-n-Cheese Fest on Friday, March 2 at the Albany Capital Center from 4 to 6:30 p.m.

The popular fan festival will offer attendees the opportunity to sample gourmet mac-n-cheese dishes from a dozen Albany-area restaurants, as well as numerous craft beer and wine options from regional breweries and wineries.

“Hannaford is excited to once again be a part of this outstanding event, which serves as the signature fan attraction of the MAAC Basketball Championships in downtown Albany,” said Hannaford Supermarkets Community Relations Specialist Brian Fabre. “We encourage both basketball and mac-n-cheese fans to join us for a fun evening to kick off the tournament.”

Tickets for the Hannaford MAAC-n-Cheese Fest are on-sale now at www.albanyfanfest.com. Tickets are $8 and entitle guests to five samples of mac-n-cheese. Tasting tickets will also be available at the door (cash only).

The first 200 guests to purchase tickets online to the Hannaford MAAC-n-Cheese Fest will receive a free ticket to the Siena men’s opening round tournament game at the Times Union Center (date and time to be determined at the conclusion of the regular season).

Craft beer tasting tickets will be $5 for three samples and will be available exclusively at the event (must be at least 21 years old with a valid ID).

Participating restaurants at the Hannaford MAAC-n-Cheese Fest include the following: Ama Cocina; Allie B’s; Angelo’s 677 Prime; City Beer Hall; Cider Belly; Excelsior Pub; Parish Public House; Philly Bar and Lounge; Public House 42; Tala; Wellington’s; and Wolff’s Biergarten.

The Hannaford MAAC-n-Cheese Fest will also feature the semi-final round of the inaugural

I LOVE NEW YORK 3-on-3 MAAC Corporate Basketball Challenge, a tournament-style competition in which local companies will display their hoops prowess.

The teams, each representing local companies and organizations, will be competing for the opportunity to take center court during the MAAC Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships at the Times Union Center. The corporate tournament will be run and administered by the Capital District YMCA, which will host the preliminary rounds.

“The MAAC is thrilled to be back in downtown Albany and we are excited to see the inaugural

I LOVE NEW YORK 3-on-3 MAAC Corporate Basketball Challenge during the Hannaford MAAC-n-Cheese Fest and to host the Championship game at the Times Union Center during the MAAC tournament,” said MAAC Commissioner Rich Ensor. “Both of these exciting events are tremendous opportunities for Capital Region families to get into the action and sample the best food and drink from local restaurants and breweries.”

The Hannaford MAAC-n-Cheese Fest will also feature performances by pep bands and spirit squads from MAAC colleges and universities, as well as family-friendly entertainment and activities, including basketball-themed inflatables and a balloon artist. All musical performances and family activities will take place in the MAAC Fan Zone presented by Pioneer Bank.

Sponsors of the Hannaford MAAC-n-Cheese Fest include Hannaford Supermarkets, I LOVE NEW YORK, Pioneer Bank, Dunkin’ Donuts, the Capital District YMCA and the MAAC.

The Hannaford MAAC-n-Cheese Fest will supplement the MAAC Basketball Championships featuring men’s and women’s teams from Canisius College, Fairfield University, Iona College, Manhattan College, Marist College, Monmouth University, Niagara University, Quinnipiac University, Rider University, St. Peter’s University, and Siena College.

Individual session passes to the 2018 MAAC Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships are now on sale. Individual session passes grant pass holders access to one of 10 designated sessions during the tournament. The men’s and women’s championship games are each sold as an individual session.

Individual session passes, flex ticket packages and all-session passes are available at the Times Union Center box office, charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and online at www.timesunioncenter-albany.com.

For a complete tournament schedule, visit www.maacsports.com. For more information about the Hannaford MAAC-n-Cheese Fest, visit www.albanyfanfest.com.

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