DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – More NCAA Tournament games could be coming to the Miami Valley and that has tourism officials preparing for the potential impact.
In just about 5 months, the University of Dayton Arena’s parking will be packed with basketball fans for the First Four Tournament, but UD officials don’t want the excitement to end there. They’re now bidding on additional tournaments games in the NCAA tournament’s first and second rounds–hoping to host a week straight of basketball.
UD Arena has been host to more NCAA tournament games than any other venue in the country. That’s according to the arena’s director Scott DeBolt–who’s hoping UD’s reputation and the Gem City’s history can weigh in their decision making.
“We’ve seen some other cities that have been interested,” DeBolt said. “We do know that they are trying to stay on the east coast, but with our track record and ability to turn things around quickly. We are hoping we have a pretty good shot.”
If Dayton does get the games, it would mean thousands of people coming to the area, spending millions of dollars. Last year, the First Four Tournament pumped 4.6 million dollars into the local economy.
“With these additional games potentially,” Dayton CVB President Jacquie Powell said. “That’s extra business for our hotels. our restaurants, our retail establishments and more money coming into our economy.”
The opportunity for the extra games became available after NCAA officials pulled tournament games from North Carolina. The NCAA made the move because of the state’s controversial bathroom law. The law requires people use bathrooms according to the gender on their birth certificate, not the gender they identify with.
DeBolt is now working with the Dayton C-V-B to make sure there’s availability.
“It’s been a little bit challenging,” DeBolt said. “With it only being six months away. Alot of properties are already booked so with our great relationship with the Montgomery County CVB and local hotels, they’ve helped us out and we’ve got a pretty good big in place.”