The NCAA First Four tournament is returning the University of Dayton area, and the event is poised to have a major economic impact on the Miami Valley.
The NCAA Division I men’s basketball championship starts with four first-round games on Tuesday, March 14, and Wednesday, March 15 right here at UD.
Here’s five things you need to know about the economic impact:
1. Jacquelyn Powell, president and CEO of the DaytonConvention and Visitors Bureau, said based on last year's tournament, the economic impact will be about $4.5 million. Direct spending goes to gas, hotels, area restaurants and bars and retail, she said.
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2. The tournament will bring the community together during several different events. The STEM Challenge at Chaminade-Julienne High School brings grade school girls and boys together to participate in a hoop challenge and hands-on science and technology exhibits. Registration starts at noon on Sunday, and kids have the chance to win iPads, t-shirts, gift cards and First Four tickets.
3. Runners can participate in the First Four Four Miler on Sunday at 10 a.m. at the UD River Campus. All pre-registered runners get a t-shirt and a finisher medal. The top four male and female runners receive a cash prize.
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4. The NCAA selection show starts at 6 p.m. on Sunday on Ch. 7 WHIO-TV, and First Four open practices start on Monday at 5 p.m. The practices are free to all fans. See the full schedule here.
5. There are several ways to buy tickets for the games at UD. Tickets for games range from $30 to $50 on Ticketmaster. First Four Championship tickets range from $90 to $397 each.
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