The NCAA’s First Four tournament kick off today at the University of Dayton Arena. The games will open with less fanfare than they did a year ago but there’s still plenty of excitement surrounding them.
Absent this year from the NCAA tournament kickoff is a presidential visit and the big Oregon District street party that began last year, but this year’s First Four event has been sold out since last October. The tournament opening has a significant economic impact for the Dayton area.
An annual Dayton festival planned around the start of the NCAA men's basketball tournament has been canceled this year.
Organizers said it was necessary because the NCAA is no longer permitting local sponsorships of public events surrounding the tournament.
The Dayton Daily News reports that the First Four Festival in the city's historic Oregon District was planned for March 17. The University of Dayton Arena is the annual site of the tournament's opening game, a "play-in" contest between the two lowest-seeded teams.