First Four Local Organizing Committee Release
University of Dayton Vice President and Director of Athletics Tim Wabler talks with members of the media on Tuesday
| Photo Gallery
- University of Dayton Vice-President and Director of Athletics Tim Wabler today announced the creation of a Local Organizing Committee to assist the University with the marketing of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball First Four games that will be played at UD Arena on March 15 and 16.
The First Four LOC is a collaborative effort between the University of Dayton, local governments and regional business leaders, and will be chaired by Jim Leftwich, President and CEO of the Dayton Development Coalition.
“The 2011 NCAA First Four provides our community quite an opportunity,” Wabler said. “By awarding this tournament to Dayton, the NCAA has placed UD Arena in the center of the college basketball universe on March 15 and 16. By bringing the initial First Four to the Miami Valley, the NCAA has given us the opportunity to do such a great job that it just does not make any sense for the First Four to be awarded to any other location in the future.
“Whenever you look at major sporting events -- bowl games; Final Fours; or the College World Series -- Local Organizing Committees coordinate the focus of the community to support the Event. Local businesses and government play the critical role in making the event successful. So today we are announcing a Local Organizing Committee to lead the charge to not only help successfully launch the First Four for the NCAA, but to also give us the best chance to keep it in Dayton by selling out the First Four games.”
“I'm very excited and honored to be Chair of the First Four Local Organizing Committee and on behalf of my fellow members on the committee, we're pleased to bring the support of the region's leaders and business community to the First Four,” said Leftwich, chari of the LOC. “ The University of Dayton's hard work in bringing so many NCAA events to UD Arena is something we all appreciate. This partnership between the University and the LOC will give us the best opportunity to keep the games coming to the Dayton region. Given the economic impact of the NCAA tournament to the region, this is a perfect fit for the Dayton Development Coalition to be involved in.
“Beyond the economic impact, the NCAA First Four brings great value to our area. The eyes of the sports world will be on the Dayton region during the games at the Arena. You can't put a price tag on that kind of exposure, and we want to maximize it through the games of 2013 and beyond."
The First Four format is different from the Opening Round, which the University of Dayton hosted since 2001, or the old First & Second Round weekends, which has been held at the Arena 12 times since 1970. Eight teams will come to Dayton, playing a total of four games. Two games will involve automatic qualifiers, and the other two will match the last four “at-large” teams in the tournament. This will mark the first time that the NCAA will publicly reveal the last teams selected to the tournament field.
This is the first year of the new NCAA men’s basketball championship television package. Every game of the tournament will be broadcast through a partnership with CBS and Turner Broadcasting. All four First Four games will be televised on Turner Broadcasting’s “Tru TV.” Tru TV is in 93 million households (ESPN is in 100 million).
All-session tickets for the NCAA First Four games are now on sale at www.ncaa.com/mbbtickets. All-session ticket prices are $97.
Wabler concluded with what could be a summary for the reason the First Four LOC was created.
“The UD Arena has hosted 83 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament games. The success of those tournaments in the past brought the initial First Four here this year. What happens in the next 10 weeks will determine if we have an opportunity to keep this event in the future.”
Members of the First Four Local Organizing Committee are:
Jim Leftwich, Dayton Development Coalition (Chair)
Pete Luongo, University of Dayton
Tim Wabler, University of Dayton
Tim O’Connell, University of Dayton
Donna Hall, Cox Media Group
Vail Miller, Heidelberg Distributing
Ginny Strausberg, Dayton Power & Light
Theresa Plaspohl, PNC Bank
Phil Parker, Dayton Chamber of Commerce
Mike McDorman, Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce
Marty Grunder, Grunder Landscaping Company
Chris Wire, Real Art Design Group
Jackie Powell, Dayton Convention & Visitors Bureau
Linda Hughes, Dayton International Airport
Steve Fink, City of Dayton
Nan Whaley, Dayton City Commissioner
Judy Dodge, Montgomery County Commissioner
Cathy Petersen, Montgomery County
Col. Amanda Gladney, WPAFB (Liaison)