Tickets left for tonight’s First Four games

New Orleans Privateers guard Nate Frye (3) during the game between Southeastern and UNO at Lakefront Arena on Thursday, March 2, 2017. University of New Orleans coach Mark Slessinger will never forget the game days when he’d drive past by lingering ruins from Hurricane Katrina on his way to rebuilt Lakefront Arena and see maybe 50 people in the stands at tip-off. Memories like those help him and others who never gave up on UNO appreciate how far this year’s No.1 seed in the Southland Conference tournament has come. (Michael DeMocker/NOLA.com The Times-Picayune via AP)

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New Orleans Privateers guard Nate Frye (3) during the game between Southeastern and UNO at Lakefront Arena on Thursday, March 2, 2017. University of New Orleans coach Mark Slessinger will never forget the game days when he’d drive past by lingering ruins from Hurricane Katrina on his way to rebuilt Lakefront Arena and see maybe 50 people in the stands at tip-off. Memories like those help him and others who never gave up on UNO appreciate how far this year’s No.1 seed in the Southland Conference tournament has come. (Michael DeMocker/NOLA.com The Times-Picayune via AP)

UPDATE @ 1:13 p.m.

Officials tell this news organization that 1,000 tickets are available for tonight’s games, and 1,100 tickets are available for tomorrow’s games.

INITIAL REPORT: 

For the 17th straight year, the NCAA men’s basketball will tip off at UD Arena tonight.

As of Monday afternoon, only 1,000 tickets remained for each night of the four games, tonight and Wednesday. The action begins at 6:40 p.m. when Mount St. Mary’s and New Orleans take the court. Kansas State and Wake Forest will follow at about 9:10 p.m.

Wednesday’s games feature UC Davis and North Carolina Central at 6:40 p.m., followed by Providence and USC. Organizers estimate the two-day tournament will generate more than $4 million into the local economy.

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Based on last year’s tournament, the event could bring in more than $4.5 million in direct spending, said Jacquelyn Powell, president and CEO of the Dayton Convention & Visitors Bureau.

UD has hosted the games since the First Four’s inception back in 2011, and the university’s history with the NCAA goes back farther than that. UD has the tipped off March Madness for 16 consecutive years, and has hosted more than 30 NCAA tournaments. According to a 2015 report, the NCAA has delivered more than $70 million in direct impact in surrounding communities.

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UD Arena has hosted more NCAA events than any other facility in the nation, and Dayton has been in the NCAA’s top 5 in attendance every season since 1969. The First Four will be played at UD Arena at least through 2018.

“They’ve got this incredible track record that goes back to the opening round… and the local organizing committee there has just gotten stronger and more committed each and every year,” said Dan Gavitt, NCAA vice president for men’s basketball, in a statement.

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