The NCAA First Four Festival, which last year drew thousands to the Historic Oregon District, has been canceled for this year.
The event was to kick off “March Madness” and celebrate Dayton hosting the first round of the 2013 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Here is the email that Mike Martin, president of the Oregon District Business Association, sent to impacted business owners:
Sent: Sunday, February 17, 2013 11:58 AM
Subject: First Four Update
Oregon business owners / property owners and interested parties of the Oregon District:
Regarding the First Four Festival:
The Local Organizing Committee has been working with the NCAA to produce events in the region surrounding First Four and Selection Sunday. The NCAA is not allowing local sponsorships for public events (like the First Four Festival) which has impacted the LOC’s plans for the First Four Festival this year. The Local Organizing Committee has reached an agreement with the NCAA to not have a First Four Festival this year.The NCAA team is primarily an all-new group, different from the folks that were involved from NCAA last year; however, the LOC is committed to working with them for next year’s Festival.
Just a reminder however…Dayton has an entire week of basketball for First Four, 2nd and 3rd rounds this year. And, the arena has been sold out for the First Four which strengthens Dayton’s ability to secure the games beyond 2015 (we have them through 2014). This year, there will be 4 days of games, 16 teams, 10 nationally televised games from UD Arena and an entire week to showcase Dayton to visitors.
I know that you, like the rest of us, are disappointed there won’t be a First Four Festival this year, but we are working on some other events in Oregon that will promote our businesses to visitors and Dayton citizens alike. Stay tuned for more information on these activities! If you have any additional questions, please contact JP Nauseef, First Four LOC Chairman.
Mike Martin, President
Oregon District Business Association”
Email from JP Nauseef, chair of the First Four Local Organizing Committee
Subject: LOC Message from JP Nauseef
First Four Local Organizing Committee Members,
Thank you for your great support of the LOC again this year. Your leadership, contributions of time and resources has placed the community in an enviable position and made a huge impact:
- 2011: Very First ‘First Four,’ VCU’s Final Four run began here; Dayton secures games through 2013
- 2012: Inaugural First Four Festival, attended by over 15,000, celebrates community, air force, NCAA basketball. President, Prime Minister, and Governor attend games. Dayton secures commitment through 2015.
- 2013: Entire week of basketball First Four, 2nd/3rd Rounds. Community secures First-ever, First Four sellout in attempt to strengthen its position to secure the games beyond 2015.
With clarity from UD and the NCAA at our last LOC meeting, we have a plan to deliver a first-class experience for the NCAA, players, coaches and fans. Unlike last year, this year includes an entire week of games with Dayton in the national spotlight, including: 4 days of games, 16 teams, tens of thousands of fans, 10 nationally televised games from UD Arena and an entire week to showcase our community to visiting fans and a global television audience! We were also told that Dayton is very well positioned for an extended relationship with the NCAA beyond 2015, which makes this year critical.
We also learned that due to significant turnover at the NCAA, they are not permitting local sponsorships for public events, impacting LOC plans for a Festival on Selection Sunday. While we are disappointed there will not be a festival this year, we are excited to be on the cusp of securing the games long-term, so our community may benefit from the economic development and excitement for many years to come! The NCAA has committed to regroup this summer and work with the University to develop a foundation for future events.
Please see the events anticipated for this year below (some are still TBD) and let’s get ready to energize the LOC; sponsors; volunteers and fans to take part and please contact me or Matt Farrell if you have additional questions.
Thank you again for your support!
First Four LOC Chairman, 2012-2013”
Contact this blogger at arobinson@DaytonDailyNews.com or Twitter.com/DDNSmartMouth