UD bids to host First Four from 2019-22

Dayton forward Kendall Pollard dribbles the ball up the floor in the second half against Boise State in the First Four on Wednesday, March 17, 2015, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff
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Dayton forward Kendall Pollard dribbles the ball up the floor in the second half against Boise State in the First Four on Wednesday, March 17, 2015, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff

The University of Dayton and the Big Hoopla Local Organizing Committee announced Thursday they have submitted a bid to host the First Four at UD Arena from 2019-2022 and the NCAA tournament first and second rounds in 2021 and 2022.

UD has already secured the First Four through 2018. It has not hosted the first and second rounds since 2013.

“The University of Dayton, The Big Hoopla, and our community partners have tipped-off the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship for 16 years consecutive years, and we intend to continue that tradition,” UD Vice-President and Director of Athletics Neil Sullivan said in a press release. “We have the organizational expertise and have delivered, and will continue to deliver, capacity crowds and a premier Championship experience for teams, tournament officials, fans, visiting media and broadcast partners. All of us in the Dayton region understand, probably more than most, that hosting the NCAA tournament is an honor and a privilege. It’s a responsibility that everyone at the University takes very seriously, and that we do not take for granted.”

UD Arena has hosted 113 tournament games. That is more than any other arena. It has hosted the First Four since the tournament expanded to 68 teams in 2011, and it hosted the play-in or opening-round games from 2001 to 2010.

Hershey, Pa., and Evansville, Ind., and Detroit are also bidding to host the First Four.