First Four final preps leading to ‘the dance’

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The finish line is in sight as final preparations are underway for the NCAA First Four Tournament.

Dayton has hosted the event for 13 years.  More than 100 games have been played here.  Thousands of people help make it happen every year.

“It’s basically year-round planning for this.  We’ve already started planning for 2015, but the last two weeks has really culminated in everything you see behind me.  With the floor going done the other day and the decorations and all the finishes being put on this weekend,” explains Scott DeBolt, University of Dayton’s Director of Athletics and Director of UD Arena.

We don’t find out which teams play until Sunday night but, everyone here wants the Flyers to go dancing.

“We hope that Dayton is in the tournament whether they start their journey here in Dayton would be great.  Obviously, teams within driving distance help a little bit.  So, yes, we’re always looking for a local team,” comments DeBolt.

We already know one winner, the local economy.

“This year’s economic impact numbers are going to be somewhere between $4 and $5 million.  Since 2001, conservative estimates put the economic impact in excess of $50 million for this community,” explains Matt Farrell of the First Four Local Organizing Committee.

The Hoopla Celebration kicks off the First Four this weekend.  For more information, go here.

But, the first game doesn’t tip off until Tuesday night.  Plenty of tickets are still available.  For more information, go here. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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