Shining Moments05.07.2013 | Athletics
NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament games at University of Dayton Arena in March pumped $10.85 million into the local economy, according to data released by the Dayton/Montgomery County Convention & Visitors Bureau. That figure is nearly $3 million more than the bureau's estimate prior to the tournament.
The University of Dayton hosted its third First Four plus the second and third rounds. The University of Dayton Arena now has hosted 101 men's Division I basketball tournament games, more than any other venue. For the first time in the history of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship, a site hosted 10 games in a week.
"We received only positive feedback from the participating institutions and guests about the experience they had while in Dayton," said Tim O'Connell, University of Dayton assistant vice president of athletics and executive director of University of Dayton Arena. "This event put the region in the national spotlight for a week. It was imperative we shined. There is nothing to suggest that did not occur. It showed the nation what we already know, Dayton is a great place to be."
The participating institutions and guests are not the only ones glowing about their March Madness experience in Dayton.
"When it comes to picking hosts for its basketball tournament, the NCAA loves Dayton like no other," USA Today columnist Mike Lopresti wrote. "One reason for the attraction might be public support at the gate. When Dayton hosted the play-in game with such low wattage matchups as Siena-Alcorn State and Monmouth-Hampton, the crowd was still never below 7,218."
Sports Illustrated writer Andy Glockner and CBSSports.com writer Jeff Borzello concurred. Part of a Glockner tweet during the third round of the tournament in Dayton read: "Good atmosphere in here. Building is full (what else is new in Dayton)." Borzello tweeted: "I always knew Dayton would be the epicenter of college basketball."
Of course, none of the accolades or locking up the First Four through 2015 would be possible without the support of the community.
"The incredible work of everyone involved paid off greatly, from the local organizing committee, to the University, the Convention and Visitors Bureau and local merchants," said Tim Wabler, University of Dayton vice president and director of athletics. "We have not only shown we are a great city for basketball, but we are a great city, period, with an incredible infrastructure for rolling out the red carpet for national events."