NCAA First Four prep underway at UD Arena


Next week’s NCAA First Four will attract thousands of basketball fans to the area and generate more than $4 million in economic impact, according to local officials.

The eight teams that will be playing at the University of Dayton Arena won’t be revealed until Sunday night, but UD Arena staff are busy today preparing the venue for the four games set for March 15-16.

The First Four floor will be installed tonight as part of the three-day effort to convert the arena for NCAA tournament games, said Scott DeBolt, senior associate director of athletics and UD Arena director.

The historic venue has hosted an NCAA-best 109 tournament games.

For NCAA tournament games, UD Arena’s seating capacity is 12,404 for the general public, compared to 13,455 for a regular-season game. Since UD Arena opened in 1969, Dayton has been in the NCAA’s top 35 in attendance every season.

“There’s a long, rich history of basketball, even way before UD Arena,” DeBolt said. “We’re proud to host the NCAA Tournament here.”

The NCAA tournament has kicked off at UD Arena since 2001, starting with the play-in game. The First Four, which debuted in 2011, will be played at UD Arena at least through 2018.

DeBolt said UD has put in a bid for the next four-year cycle, to host the First Four in 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022.

“UD Arena is a basketball venue, and we pride ourselves on hosting good competitions here,” DeBolt said.

Jacquelyn Powell, president and CEO of the Dayton Convention & Visitors Bureau, said last year’s First Four had a $4.6 million economic impact.

“And that doesn’t include the kind of media exposure we also get and the national attention it brings to our community,” Powell said.

Powell said after the tournament bracket is unveiled Sunday night, the bureau will begin making preparations for the eight teams coming to Dayton.

“We want to make that welcome feel special,” Powell said. “A lot of communities would love to have this event. Dayton has been behind this from the beginning. UD does a tremendous job with this event.”

Open practices free to the public will be held March 14-15. Tickets to the First Four games are available at www.daytonhoopla.com/tickets.

The Big Hoopla also has a pair of events scheduled for Sunday, March 13: The Big Hoopla Four Miler and Fifth Annual Big Hoopla STEM Challenge. For more information, visit www.daytonhoopla.com.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Cold morning, but temps in 40s expected this weekend
Cold morning, but temps in 40s expected this weekend

QUICK-LOOK FORECAST Cold, dry morning Warming up into the weekend Rain showers by Sunday Today: It will be a quiet and cold morning, said Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini. Most will start off in the upper single digits. It will be a nice afternoon with sunshine and temperatures around 30, which is closer to normal. ...
Driver backs into Dayton police cruiser 
Driver backs into Dayton police cruiser 

A driver was ticketed after backing their car into a Dayton police cruiser early Thursday morning. The crash happened around 2:15 a.m. on Watervliet Avenue near Smithville Road.  A witness told our crew that a passenger got out of a black car and started walking away. The driver put the car in reverse and backed up in an attempt to get his passenger...
Another meteor? Reports come in of bright flash across Ohio, Ind. night sky
Another meteor? Reports come in of bright flash across Ohio, Ind. night sky

Another meteor may have lit up the sky late Wednesday night. Several reports have come into our newsroom of a bright flash that shot across the sky just before midnight. People from Englewood, Marysville and Randolph County, Ind. have said they saw the bright flash, with some saying it was bright blue or blue/green. The American Meteor Society received...
Dayton traffic from the WHIO traffic center
Dayton traffic from the WHIO traffic center

Traffic issues can be reported by calling our newsroom at 937-259-2237 or tweeting @WHIOTraffic . Traffic conditions are updated every six minutes on AM 1290 and News 95.7 FM. No incidents to report No incidents to report Ongoing Construction & Other Closures  Live look at highways on our traffic cameras here. Latest...
Good Samaritan Hospital closing: Community angry, devastated, concerned
Good Samaritan Hospital closing: Community angry, devastated, concerned

The closing of Good Samaritan Hospital will be a crippling blow to the west Dayton community and raises several concerns going forward, said three people who represent the hundreds of residents living near the 86-year-old facility.  "We're behind the eight ball," Minister Daria Dillard Stone, 66 and a member of the Mount Carmel Missionary...
More Stories