Earlier today, the NCAA announced the relocation of the 2021 Division I Men’s Basketball Championship from 13 predetermined host sites, including the First Four games due to be played at UD Arena, to a single geographic site. The decision, made to create a safe event for all participants, comes as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact professional and amatuer sports throughout the US.
“We’re obviously very disappointed that the NCAA First Four won’t be coming to Dayton in 2021,” said Terry Slaybaugh, Volunteer Chair of the Big Hoopla Local Organizing Committee (LOC). “But, given the state of the pandemic and the need to protect the health of players, fans, event staff, and the entire community, we wholly understand and support the NCAA’s decision.”
While the tournament will not take place in Dayton for the 2021 season, the LOC is looking to the future. In October, the NCAA announced that the First Four will remain at UD Arena through the 2026 season.
“The First Four is a terrific event, and we look forward to it returning to Dayton in 2022 and beyond,” said Slaybaugh. “It gives us a chance to put a spotlight on the Dayton region, our incredible military community, and the many businesses and organizations that come together year after year to make the basketball tournament and Big Hoopla events shine.”
Despite the tough decision to relocate the First Four and other host sites, the LOC remains dedicated to the tournament and will work tirelessly over the next months to support those efforts. The LOC also thanks all the Big Hoopla sponsors and volunteers for their continued support.
For more information about the Big Hoopla, the 2021 tournament, and future events, follow @DaytonHoopla on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter or visit www.daytonhoopla.com.
See full NCAA Press Release HERE