DAYTON, OHIO, NOVEMBER 18, 2014 – At a joint press event yesterday, University of Dayton officials joined the Local Organizing Committee lead by Chairman JP Nauseef to congratulate the community and thank them for the critical role they played in securing the NCAA First Four. At the conclusion of the current agreement, the Dayton region and UD Arena will have hosted the tip-off to March Madness® for 18-consecutive years.
“Dayton is home to America’s #1 host site and America’s most passionate college basketball fans. The region’s commitment to the NCAA Tournament has no equal,” said JP Nauseef. “This fact seems to further demonstrate Dayton is America’s choice and we are delighted by the committee’s decision.”
Post-announcement comments by NCAA officials and the Selection Committee echoed this point with Utah State Athletic Director and Division I Men’s Basketball Committee Chair Scott Barnes noting, “If you think about the job that Dayton did in hosting First Fours over time, they’re back in the mix. (The) community, and how they embrace that event, certainly will be an asset as we move forward.”
The facts are hard to dispute; each year since the inception of the First Four, Dayton and its fans have delivered. In 2011, the inaugural year for the First Four, tournament Cinderella VCU advanced from First Four to Final Four®. In 2012, the US President, British Prime Minister and Ohio Governor took in the tournament action during the opening night of games. 2013 saw a first-ever First Four sellout as part of 10-consecutive games in front of sold out crowds. The 2014 First Four saw capacity crowds with record-setting viewership and TV ratings.
The early planning stages of 2015 First Four have drawn the attention and support of the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives and Ohio’s Congressional delegation. Letters of support and messages of congratulations have been received from countless local and state legislators.
“Our nation’s top leaders are in complete agreement. The NCAA Tournament and Dayton, Ohio belong together,” continued Nauseef.
Last week, federal and local elected officials advocated for Dayton’s position as host of the NCAA First Four in 2016, 2017, 2018 and beyond.
As part of thanking our country’s leaders for their support, the First Four Committee Chairman extended an invitation to the President, House Speaker, Ohio’s Governor and the entire Ohio Congressional Delegation to join thousands of fans, students and Airmen from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base for a great week of events and two nights of exciting tournament action to tip-off March Madness. The Road Starts Here!
Commissioner Debbie Lieberman, Montgomery County
“Today he NCAA confirmed something we in Montgomery County and the Dayton region have known all along – Dayton is the premier basketball region in America. The Big Hoopla is founded on our a deep passion for college basketball and the diverse community activities we’ve launched focused on our students, their education, STEM initiatives and the active-duty servicemen and military families who serve our country and call our community home.”
Jeff Hoagland, President & CEO of the Dayton Development Coalition
“Yesterday’s announcement by the NCAA will pay long-term dividends when it comes to retaining, expanding and recruiting jobs in the Dayton region. The NCAA First Four and March Madness provide unique economic development opportunities which stem from promoting and advocating for the attributes of our region – specifically, our collaborative mentality, our respect for service and our commitment to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the United States Air Force.”
Derek A. Porter, President & CEO of Dayton Power & Light
“Dayton Power & Light is proud to be part of this region-wide effort to showcase our community to a national and global audience. Our company recognizes the importance of the local organizing committee’s work and as a long-standing supporter of community events and economic growth across the Miami Valley, we are proud to support and look forward to supporting The Big Hoopla and the NCAA First Four into the future.”
About The Big Hoopla & the First Four Local Organizing Committee:
The University of Dayton appointed Local Organizing 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 LOC works collaboratively to drive significant, long-term economic value for the Dayton region.
The 2015 NCAA Tournament will tip-off from UD Arena for the fifteenth consecutive year on Tuesday, March 17 and Wednesday, March 18 with the NCAA First Four. 2015 NCAA Tournament tickets are on-sale now at NCAA Tickets.