Ohio economy to win big with future NCAA games

The madness is here to stay in Ohio.

Cities like Dayton, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus stand to win big economically after being named host sites for future rounds of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

All four cities were chosen Tuesday to host games for the March Madness tournament but the biggest winner was the University of Dayton, which was chosen to extend its streak for hosting the First Four tournament at the UD Arena through 2022.

The tournament games bring in major revenue for hotels, airports, restaurants, bars and other businesses in the state. Those cities and several others in the state will also host NCAA championships for other sports too.

“Ohio is no stranger to hosting successful sporting events,” said Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown. “Welcoming sports fans from across the country to Ohio is an opportunity to support local jobs and show visitors all our state has to offer.”

» MARCH MADNESS: NCAA First Four to spur economic growth in Dayton

Columbus and the Ohio State University were selected to host the first and second rounds of the 2019 Division I men’s basketball championship, and Cleveland will host the first and second round games of the Division 1 men’s basketball championship at Quicken Loans Arena.

The University of Cincinnati will host the first and second round games of the 2022 NCAA men’s basketball tournament, and the games will be played at U.S. Bank Arena. It’s the first time Cincinnati has hosted any round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament since 1992,and the bid was submitted in collaboration with U.S. Bank Arena, UC and the Cincinnati USA Sports Commission.

“We look forward to working with our membership, the cities and local organizing committees who may host for the first time, as well as the groups who will repeat as host sites,” said Joni Comstock, NCAA senior vice president of championships.

» RELATED: 5 things to know about NCAA First Four tournament in Dayton

The men’s basketball games alone generate billions of dollars in economic impact across the state. Last year, the Final Four had a projected economic impact of $300 million in the host city of Houston, and the First Four has generated $66 million in Dayton since 2001.

UD has hosted the games since the First Four’s inception in 2011, and the university’s history with the NCAA goes back farther than that. Now, they’ll build on that reputation for another five years — adding major dollars in economic impact for the city.

The Big Hoopla First Four Local Organizing Committee works “collaboratively to drive significant, long-term economic value for the Dayton region,” a university statement said. The Big Hoopla is comprised of Dayton business leaders like Dayton Development Coalition President Jeff Hoagland, Downtown Dayton Partnership Sandy Gudorf and JP Nauseef, president and CEO of Krush Technologies.

“Every year, there’s a tremendous effort to make sure we’re doing everything possible to create a great atmosphere, and ensure we bring this event to Dayton in the future,” said Jacquelyn Powell, president and CEO of the Dayton Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The university and committee both have worked to tailor the First Four experience for players and fans from the time they enter the city. When teams touch down at the Dayton International Airport, bagpipers play the schools’ fights songs and the celebration starts.

From the Dayton International Airport to local bars and restaurants, the games ramp up spending in the local community. Hotels are booked by out-of-towners, and hungry and thirsty fans takeover locals bars and other joints. The city and UD have been praised in the past for their hosting efforts.

“Dayton has proven it has the people, experience and enthusiasm to put on a world-class effort, and I look forward to seeing it continue to play a big role in future tournaments,” said Gov. John Kasich, in a previous statement.

The NCAA received more than 3,000 bid submissions from NCAA member schools, conferences, sports commissions and cities vying to championship rounds for different sports.

A total of 613 sites were awarded this cycle. Host sites had to meet adherence to several bid specifications, have ample lodging and hotels, and also had to able to create “what will be an exceptional experience for student-athletes.”


  • March 19-20, 2019 –University of Dayton Arena, Dayton
  • March 22 & 24, 2019 –Nationwide Arena, Columbus
  • March 20 & 22, 2020 –Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland
  • March 17-18, 2020 – University of Dayton Arena, Dayton
  • March 16-17, 2021 – University of Dayton, Dayton
  • March 15-16, 2022 – University of Dayton, Dayton
  • March 17 & 19, 2022 –U.S. Bank Arena, Cincinnati


11 Division I championship rounds or finals will be hosted in Ohio

4 Division II championship rounds or finals will be hosted in Ohio

8 Division III championship rounds or finals will be hosted in Ohio

5 National Collegiate rounds or finals will be hosted in Ohio

Source: NCAA


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