February 1, 2019—Dayton, OH—In anticipation of the 2019 NCAA First Four® Tournament at UD Arena on March 19 and 20, The Big Hoopla has initiated a new program to offer community members the opportunity to support the annual Hoopla Ticket Program. This program provides NCAA Tournament tickets free-of-charge to regional military service members, their families, and local students.

The Hoopla Ticket Program donates thousands of tickets annually, and nearly 40,000 tickets have been donated since 2012. For 2019, the community is invited to join The Big Hoopla’s efforts—through a new GoFundMe effort established to enable interested individuals to donate directly to The Big Hoopla’s and help provide a record number of tickets for military members, their families and students to this year’s NCAA First Four® Tournament games hosted at UD Arena.

The Big Hoopla will officially be launching this community-based effort on Saturday, February 2 at the Chaminade Julienne High School (CJ) boys basketball game against Archbishop Moeller High School, at CJ. The game matches the CJ Eagles, currently ranked #1 in the State of Ohio Division II, and Cincinnati- Moeller, ranked #1 in Division I, making this a top ranked GCL game the community and region will not want to miss. Chaminade-Julienne also hosts The Big Hoopla STEM Challenge each selection Sunday ahead of March Madness, a free event which combines the power of STEM education with the excitement of college basketball to area students K-8 grade.

The Color Guard from Wright Patterson Air Force Base will be on hand at the game to present the nations colors as part of the pre-game national anthem ceremony.

Big Hoopla Local Organizing Committee Chairman, Terry Slaybaugh states “The Big Hoopla’s objective has always been to deliver innovative community-based events in conjunction with the First Four® which recognize and honor military service, promote the value of STEM education and show the world why Dayton Ohio has the most passionate college basketball fans in America!”

Retired Air Force General Lester Lyles said “The Big Hoopla is more than just a basketball game for Dayton’s military installations. From inviting thousands of Airmen to each game to shining a spotlight on new recruits as they pledge to serve their country. The Big Hoopla helps share the story of the young men and women of the U.S. Air Force and their important role in preserving our freedoms.”

To donate, visit GoFundMe.com/TheBigHoopla2019

To become a Sponsor, visit DaytonHoopla.com/Sponsor

About Hometown Heroes ™

The Hometown Heroes ™ program is a nationally recognized program started by the Dayton Development Coalition in 2004 to recognize and thank the Airmen and their families in the Dayton Region for their service to the United States Air Force and United States of America. Over 63,000 tickets have been donated as part of the Hometown HeroesTM program.

About The Big Hoopla Local Organizing Committee:

The Big Hoopla Local Organizing Committee is comprised of over 50 volunteer community leaders from the Dayton Region representing academia, small and large business, military, civic and government jurisdictions. The committee is organized to support the University of Dayton’s position as a preferred host site for the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament. While supporting the University, the committee works collaboratively to drive significant, long-term economic value for the Dayton Region by leveraging the media reach of the NCAA Tournament and March Madness in an effort to promote and advocate for the unique attributes of Dayton and the State of Ohio.

Since 2001, the NCAA Tournament has delivered over $66 million in direct economic impact to the Dayton Region. March Madness offers a global platform, unmatched media reach, record national TV audiences, and association with the global brand of the NCAA.

To learn more about The Big Hoopla Local Organizing Committee, its work in the community or supporting their efforts, please contact Sarah Spees at 937-673-4293 , email info@daytonhoopla.com or visit the website www.daytonhoopla.com

NCAA Tournament History at UD Arena:

The University of Dayton Arena has hosted more NCAA Tournament basketball games than any other arena, making it America’s #1 Host Site and making the Dayton Region the Epicenter of College Basketball. Learn more by visiting daytonflyers.com/ncaa

2019 NCAA First Four®:

The 2019 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament and March Madness will tip-off from UD Arena for the 9th consecutive year on Tuesday, March 12 and Wednesday, March 13 with the NCAA First Four®.

Tickets to the 2019 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship games, including the First Four® here in Dayton OH, can be purchased by clicking here NCAA.com/mbbtickets

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