The Road to the Final Four® begins in Dayton, Ohio, with the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship First Four® games on March 13 and 14 at the University of Dayton Arena. As part of the festivities around the event, the Dayton Local Organizing Committee for the First Four is proud to announce the inaugural NCAA First Four Festival – Dayton on March 11 in Dayton’s Historic Oregon District.
“We are excited to be working with the NCAA and we expect the events to garner much more positive, national attention for our community,” said Dayton City Commissioner Nan Whaley.
“The University of Dayton Arena is one of the most respected venues in all of college basketball and we look forward to kicking off March Madness with a huge Selection Sunday Celebration,” said Greg Shaheen, NCAA interim executive vice president of championships and alliances.
The University of Dayton has hosted the start of the Division I men’s basketball championship each year since 2001, having hosted a single opening-round game from 2001-10. After the tournament expanded prior to the 2011 championship, Dayton was selected to host the inaugural First Four, consisting of four first-round games played over two days. The University of Dayton Arena, which has hosted more NCAA Division I men’s tournament games than any other arena in the country, will host the First Four next month and again in 2013, when it also will host second- and third-round games of the championship. Local fans have helped the University of Dayton regularly rank among the top 30 nationally in Division I men’s basketball attendance.
“We are thrilled to be part of the First Four experience and the positive economic impact it will bring to our region,” said Montgomery County Commission President Judy Dodge.
On Selection Sunday, March 11, thousands will flock to Dayton’s Historic Oregon District for the NCAA First Four Festival – Dayton to kick off the Division I men’s basketball championship. This all-day, free event begins at noon and will feature family activities, a First-4-Miler fun run, food, beverages, large-screen televisions for watching conference tournament championship games leading up to the selection show, live music and educational displays featuring the latest in Air Force technology. The region is the birthplace of aviation and is the home to Wright Patterson Air Force Base. Heated tents and the ability to go in to one of your favorite Oregon District Businesses, who are all gearing up to make this an event you won't want to miss, are examples of how the weather won’t impact the day’s events.
“Participating with the NCAA during the First Four allows the Air Force to communicate the unique contributions we bring to national security,” said Lt General Thomas J. Owen, Commander, Aeronautical Systems Center, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. “It is one of our top priorities to maintain a presence at community events throughout the country and highlight the tremendous work of our Airmen.”
Purchase your First Four® game tickets at www.NCAA.com/mbbtickets or www.daytonflyers.com or call TicketMaster at 1-800-745-3000. Learn more about the NCAA First Four Festival – Dayton at www.NCAA.com/firstfourdayton